Leadership in Administration Case Study

Pages: 7 (1969 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 7  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Economics

Leadership in Administration Case Study

The work of Davis, Darling-Hammond, LaPointe and Meyerson (2005) entitled: "Developing Successful Principals" published by the Stanford Educational Leadership Institute that principals, "...in today's climate of heightened expectations...are in the hot seat to improve teaching and learning. They need to be educational visionaries, instructional and curriculum leaders, assessment experts, disciplinarians, community builders, public relations experts, budget analysts, facility managers, special programs administrators, and expert overseers of legal, contractual and policy mandates and initiatives." (2005, p. 6) In other words leaders in today's schools must be well-prepared and in many areas of leadership and administration. Just as well, today's school leaders must be educated and trained in leading schools forward regardless of the environment in which the school is operating whether it be a time of plenty or a time in which expenses must necessarily be kept to a minimum in order for the school to continue operating.


It is commonly acknowledged among school superintendents who are successful in leading their school district that the only method that is sure in gaining support of all stakeholders in educational administration is a method that ensures the involvement of all of the various stakeholders in the decision-making process and this is especially true when it comes to administration of the school finances and school budget.Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Case Study on Leadership in Administration Case Study Assignment

The work of Joynt (2002) states that a successful planning strategy is one that "...illustrates the roles and relationships of programs and services" which serves to "minimize the emotional charge of the cutting process." (p.1) Howley (2003) states that when "the community is ignored" leaders are not able to access the support that communities desire to give their schools." The work of Almack (1970) states that budgets are not 'made' by school boards or business managers, they are 'developed' by combined efforts of large numbers of school workers, and when the budget it complete it is not a mere financial instrument but is an embodiment of the policies and plans and programs of education that are to be carried throughout the year." (p.238)


Almack states that the school superintendent's responsibility in the school budgeting process includes but is not limited to the following responsibilities:

(1) Preparation, presentation, and administration of the school budget;

(2) Seeking that all revenue to which the schools are entitled come into the school coffers and ascertaining new or additional sources of revenue;

(3) Knowing the reasons for mounting school costs and the explanations of them;

(4) The ability of the people to support schools and why they should support them and how to secure this support;

(5) The hundreds of opportunities for waste and the necessity for eliminating them and the methods for eliminating them;

(6) The purposes and standard methods of financial accounting including Preparation of monthly and annual financial statements and balance sheets;

(7) Planning, construction and finance of school buildings.

(8) Equipping school buildings and the community use of school buildings;

(9) The maintenance of the school;

(10) The school janitor and his work;

(11) Insuring school property;

(12) Taking equipment inventories;

(13) Handling school supplies and textbooks;

(14) Safeguarding teacher-student ratios;

(15) Pupil transportation; and (16) Merits of fiscal dependence and fiscal independence. (Almack, 1970)

The work of Burkey (1984) states that budgeting is the "key to financial control. Proper budgeting requires care, thought, and adequate information. It involves a number of areas indirectly related to finances including philosophy, mission statement, organizational structure, communications and reporting." (p.274)


The budgeting process begins with "a clear understanding, on the part of both the school board members and the administration, of the philosophy and mission statement of the school." (Almack, 1970, p.274) It is important that the priorities which are generally "established in a five-year planning process...be articulated by the school board in advance of the annual budgeting process." (Almack, 1970, p.274) It is those priorities which should serve as the basis for the initial expenditure budget which the school superintendent establishes and which should follow some general guidelines stated as follows:

(1) Budget figures should be realistic and not padded and a contingency account established for meeting needs that are not anticipated;

(2) Realistic allowances should be made for inflation;

(3) Projected expenses should have supporting documentation to justify the planned expenditure;

(4) Projected income items should have a supporting plan to ensure that the income can be realized;

(5) The budget should reflect the priorities of the board and administration;

(6) Budget carefully for all expenditure items. (Almack, 1970, p.274)


The work of Ciriello (nd) entitled: "Principal as Managerial Leader" states that "a regular, schedule approach to budget preparation through the use of a calendar can provide the necessary structuring to the budget process for a school." (p. 305) This calendar will specify what steps are taking in the budgeting process for each month of the year. As well, the budget calendar informs stakeholders of the steps in the ongoing process of budgeting for the school and enables stakeholders to become actively involved in the school budgeting process. The planning for the school budget should take place in both terms of long- and short-range planning. Ciriello states that a logical activity in which to include board members is that of "continual work with annual and long-range goals, together with a written plan for their implementation." (Ciriello, nd, p.306)


The community connection to the school budgeting process is one that is critical in nature. There are specific methods that the school superintendent can use to integrally connect the community to the process of school budgeting. Some of those methods are as follows:

(1) Conduct consistent explanations -- This includes taking opportunities which present for providing an explanation of the school budget process.

(2) Make frequent contacts with the media and the public -- Included are such as scheduling budget segment at school board meeting and sending out a periodic budget report.

(3) Take note of the calendar -- Seek opportunities to communicate about school finance that coincides with the fiscal year.

(4) Keep it simple

(5) Avoid jargon at all hazards -- Included is printing copies of budget information to provide to citizens who are interest in the school budgeting process;

(6) Graphics are useful in relating information about school budgeting so these should be used to relate the budget specifics.

(7) Know the market -- The school administrator should know the market in terms of such as how many property owners live in the district that do not have children in school, etc.

(8) Make the process transparent -- This cannot be stressed enough. Furthermore since ae of every dollar spent by the school is on school salaries, the school is one of the community's largest employers and this should be expressed to the media and the community.

(9) Meet over coffee -- with the media, the local community and explain in a relaxed informal atmosphere how the budget process works. (IASB, nd)


The work of Lerner (2006) states that the participatory budgeting process is one that is "driven by and grounded in certain core principles" including those of:

(1) democracy;

(2) equity;

(3) community;

(4) education; and (5) transparency. (Lerner, 2006, p.1)

Participatory budgeting processes furthermore have several basic design features including those of:

(1) identification of spending priorities by community members;

(2) election of budget delegates to represent different communities;

(3) facilitation and technical assistance by public employees;

(4) local and higher level assemblies to deliberate and vote on spending priorities; and (5) The implementation of local direct-impact community projects. (Lerner, 2006, p.1)

Lerner (2006) states that while many of the principles and design features just stated above are known to exist in other participatory processes, in the participatory budgeting process "they are combined and implemented together." (p.1) According to Lerner (2006) participatory budgeting processes are inherently characterized by "flexibility and constant evolution and therefore participatory budgeting "can be extended and adapted to new spaces in new ways." (p.1) Lerner states that as participatory budgeting "...develops in different places, people experiment with new variations to participatory budgeting, to better respond to their local context." (2006, p.1)

Lerner (2006) states that limitations in the implementation of a participatory budgeting process are known to include the following limitations:

(1) Participants often have limited decision-making power;

(2) At the budget deliberations themselves, participation is not always representative or equal;

(3) Participation has been unequal when those who attend budget deliberations are not able to participate equally in discussions. If deliberations are not well structured and facilitated, they can reproduce class and knowledge hierarchies, by enabling those with more power and greater linguistic or technical skills to control discussions. (p.1)

Lerner states however that "even with these limitations, participatory budgeting tends to facilitate more representative and equal participation than other public engagement processes. (p.1)


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