Budgeting for Educational Equity

The Time and Space to Innovate Toward Equitable School Systems

August 31, 2021 CASBO and WestEd Season 1 Episode 4
Budgeting for Educational Equity
The Time and Space to Innovate Toward Equitable School Systems
Show Notes

School districts face extreme urgency to safely return students to in-person environments and help them recover from a pandemic that has not yet ended. At the same time, leaders and practitioners are pressing to expeditiously but thoughtfully allocate a windfall of new state and federal dollars – all the while trying to leverage the unique opportunity created by these circumstances to bring about transformative changes to our public school systems.

How can school communities make the most of this moment to innovate towards a greater equality of outcomes for all students? That's the question we explore in this episode. Education reform experts Michael Fullan and Joanne Quinn share powerful ideas and insights from their work. Both have advised school systems in California and throughout the world. They’ve co-authored many books and papers, including their latest, “Right Drivers for Whole System Success.”

Fullan and Quinn help us to look through the lens of equity and learning, emphasizing that education leaders should prioritize engaging all of their students.

The possibilities for investing this influx of new, one-time funding to address inequities is truly exciting. But not so simple. School business officials especially may find themselves caught in a tension, on the one hand focused on fulfilling their important, traditional role of ensuring fiscal health and responsible accounting (including spending down Covid-recovery funds within prescribed timelines) while also being presented an opportunity to help their districts think and act in new ways that can be sustained over time.

CASBO CEO and executive director Tatia Davenport also re-joins Jason to put some of Michael and Joanne’s ideas through a school business “reality check.” Tatia describes why focusing on increasing the long-term yield of our public school investments is so critical, plus she highlights why district leaders need more time and space to plan, so they can develop a cohesive strategy with their communities for effectively spending their funds and improving outcomes.

Download the Episode 4 Companion Brief here.


Joanne Quinn is an international consultant and author on system change, leadership, and learning. As co-founder and Global Director of New Pedagogies for Deep Learning, she leads partnership work across eight countries focused on transforming learning. Joanne has provided leadership at all levels of education as a superintendent, implementation advisor to the Ontario Ministry of Education, and Director of Continuing Education at the University of Toronto. 

Michael Fullan, O.C., is the Global Leadership Director of New Pedagogies for Deep Learning and a worldwide authority on educational reform with a mandate of helping to achieve the moral purpose of all children learning. A former Dean of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) of the University of Toronto, Michael advises policymakers and local leaders around the world to provide leadership in education.


Budgeting for Educational Equity is presented by the California Association of School Business Officials (CASBO), in partnership with WestEd. Our series is written and produced by Paul Richman and Jason Willis. Original music, mixing and sound by Tommy Dunbar. John Diaz at WestEd  develops our related written materials. We are grateful to the Sobrato Family Foundation for providing additional support.