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Education Podcasts

The Voice of School Business


United States


The Voice of School Business




Scoping Out the Current Educational Equity Landscape with Nina Boyd

Is California doing a better job of getting resources that turn into opportunities and access for students into the right places? Are major investments in new initiatives helping to move the needle for those furthest from opportunity? How are schools navigating the current climate of rising divisiveness? For this first episode of our new season, we wanted to gain the perspective of someone who has had her finger on the pulse of school business and resource equity for a long time, both from a local and a statewide perspective – and that led us to none other than Nina Boyd, Deputy Superintendent for Operations, Government and Community Partnerships, for the Orange County Department of Education (OCDE). Nina is a school business official, administrator and statewide leader who has seen a lot transpire during her nearly 40 years in public education – and she is still on the frontlines impacting change. Nina shares insight and perspectives related to:


A Conversation with Mike Fine, CEO of FCMAT

Mike Fine, CEO of the Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team’s (FCMAT), joins CASBO President Tina Douglas and President Elect Eric Dill for an informative discussion on fiscal responsibility in school business. Fine joined FCMAT in 2015 as the agency’s chief administrative officer and became chief executive officer in, 2017. Previously, he served as interim superintendent and deputy superintendent of business services and governmental relations at the Riverside Unified School District, the assistant superintendent at Newport-Mesa USD and as a financial administrator in accounting and indirect budgets at Hughes Aircraft Company and General Dynamics Corporation. Holding degrees in accounting and public administration from Cal Poly Pomona and California Baptist University, he has a long history in governmental relations and working closely with policymakers in Sacramento on behalf of California’s K-12 students. Established in 1991 through the passage of AB 1200, FCMAT's primary mission is to help California’s local TK-14 educational agencies identify, prevent and resolve financial, operational and data management challenges by providing management assistance and professional learning opportunities. For more information, visit


2023-24 May Revise

CASBO's Legislative Committee Chair and Governmental Relations team discuss CASBO's analysis and response to the Governor's May Revision in this episode. Listen to our budget priorities and advocacy efforts as we make sure our voices are heard when the Legislature and Administration work toward the final state budget act. Guests: Darrin Watters, Deputy Superintendent/Business Services, Hemet Unified, CASBO Legislative Committee Chair Elizabeth Esquivel, Assistant Executive Director, Governmental Relations, CASBO Mishaal Gil, Director, Policy & Advocacy, CASBO


CASBO's Legislative Advocacy

Now that the Governor's 2023-24 budget proposal has been released and is in the hands of the legislature, CASBO members and advocates are hard at work analyzing bills and making our voices heard. Learn about our budget priorities, how we shape legislation, and how you can get involved with legislative advocacy on behalf of your school district. Guests: Elizabeth Esquivel, Assistant Executive Director, Governmental Relations, CASBO Mishaal Gil, Director, Policy & Advocacy, CASBO Gary Stine, Executive Director of Support Services, Orange County Department of Education, and Chair, CASBO Legislative Committee


Fiscal Outlook for Schools

What is on the horizon for next year's budget, and what options does the state have to address a drop in revenue? The Legislative Analyst for K-12 Education discusses the recent report on the fiscal outlook for schools and its recommendations to the Legislature for school funding. Guest Edgar Cabral, Deputy Legislative Analyst, K-12 Education, California Legislative Analyst's Office:


Preparing for the Next Job

With so much turnover in school business in the last two years, there have never been more opportunities to promote into a new position. Our guests give their advice on fine-tuning your resume, preparing for interviews, and taking advantage of CASBO training so you will be ready for that next job and stand out in the hiring process. Guests: Aaron Heinz, Deputy Superintendent of Administrative Services, Colusa County Office of Education Matt Phillips, CPA, Director of Management Consulting Services, School Services of California Tracy Petrillo, Ed.D., CAE – Chief Learning Officer, CASBO Additional Resources: Leadership & How to Get a Promotion - Presentation


2022-23 May Revise

When Governor Newsom released his proposed budget in January, many K-12 funding issues were pushed off, including the final Local Control Funding Formula cost-of-living adjustment, addressing the Gann Limit, and dealing with a staggering drop in average daily attendance. In this episode, we'll discuss the newly released May revise with members of CASBO's Governmental Relations team and compare the Governor's new proposals against the Legislature's priorities as we outline the road to state budget adoption next month. Guests: Elizabeth Esquivel, Senior Director, Policy & Governance, CASBO Gary Stine, Executive Director of Support Services, Orange County Department of Education, and Chair, CASBO Legislative Committee


2022-23 Governor's January Budget Proposal

The Governor has released his initial budget proposal for 2022-23. We discuss his key proposals, the historic levels of funding, other pending legislation, and how this may impact school district budgets. Guests: Tatia Davenport, Chief Executive Officer, CASBO Sara Bachez, Chief Governmental Relations Officer, CASBO Additional Resources CASBO NewsBreak 2022-04 – Governor Newsom Releases the 2022-23 State Budget Proposal


Declining Enrollment: Brace for Impact

Statewide declining enrollment became worse during the pandemic, and districts have not yet rebounded to their pre-COVID levels. Districts will return to funding based on actual attendance next school year if Gov. Newsom and the Legislature do not act to prevent a fiscal cliff. In this episode, our guests will provide advice on planning for different funding scenarios and offer suggestions on how the state can solve this problem. Guests: Candi Clark, Ed.D., Associate Superintendent of Business Services, Alameda County Office of Education Jennifer Stahlheber, Chief Financial Officer, San Juan Unified School District Tony Wold, Ed.D., Former Associate Superintendent of Business Services, West Contra Costa Unified School District


Be Prepared

If we've learned anything in the last two years, it's that the unexpected will happen. While our attention has been devoted to dealing with the crisis caused by the pandemic, other emergencies continue to affect our schools. In this episode, our guests will talk about handling multiple emergencies, lessons learned from recent disasters, and how planning can help with your local education agency's financial recovery. Guests: Joe Anderson, Emergency Services Manager, California Department of Education Judy Miller, Director, Risk Management & Environmental Safety, Perris Union HSD; and Chair, CASBO Risk Management Professional Council Erin Tarkhanian, Loss Prevention Coordinator, Redwood Empire Schools' Insurance Group; and Chair, CASBO Sacramento Section Risk Management Professional Council Jake Wolf, Staff Services Manager, Emergency Services Team, California Department of Education


Purchasing Power

Purchasing departments across the state are dealing with supply shortages, price increases, and contracting new services to deal with the pandemic in addition to meeting the usual needs of schools in a year that was supposed to open more normally--but didn't. We talk to three experts on how they are addressing these problems and what advice they have for districts to overcome these challenges. Guests: Leeann Errotabere, Former CASBO President, Director of Purchasing - Clovis Unified School District Sharon Clay, Director, Purchasing, Warehouse & Duplicating Services - Cajon Valley Tony Crapo, Director of Purchasing & Support Services - Sequoia Union High School District


New Podcast Series: Budgeting for Educational Equity

How can dedicated teams of leaders, school business officials, educators, and entire school communities allocate resources to better meet the needs of all students? That’s the story we’re sharing in this new limited series presented by CASBO and WestEd. In each episode, our host Jason Willis welcomes education leaders and practitioners to discuss funding, educational improvements, and advancing resource equity across all levels of California’s public education system. We’ll explore their motivations, the tools they’re using, and what’s working, and what they’ve learned. Join us to tap into the experiences of guest experts and colleagues who are doing the work every day of ensuring a more equitable allocation of resources. It’s valuable insight you won’t want to miss! Visit the CASBO website to listen and subscribe.


Rethinking Special Education Funding

The way California provides funding for students with disabilities has not changed in decades and is the largest remaining categorical program in the state. WestEd has been researching alternatives that could provide more efficiency in how existing resources are distributed to school districts along with better accountability to enhance services and improve outcomes for students. The WestEd study on special education finance has been released. We talk to one of the study authors on their findings and recommendations to rethink the state's funding model and align it with other current accountability systems. Guest: Jason Willis, Director, Resource Planning, WestEd


Food for Thought

While most of California has moved "Beyond the Blueprint," it is anything but business as usual for schools. This summer, we will highlight the challenges in different areas of school business as we prepare for full reopening this fall. In Nutrition Services, in-person service will continue under the current USDA waivers. We talk to three CASBO members about what this will mean for their programs, what logistics issues they are dealing with, and the big news from Sacramento this week on the deal reached to continue no-cost meals for all students next year. Guests: Jennifer Marrone, Food & Nutrition Services Business Manager, San Diego Unified School District, CASBO State Director Ralph Peschek, Chief Business Officer, William S. Hart Union High School District, CASBO Legislative Committee Member Dominic Machi, Director of Food & Nutrition Services, Mt. Diablo Unified School District, CASBO State Nutrition Services Professional Council Chair


May Revise

Following a week of good news for education, the governor released the May Revision to his 2021-22 budget proposal. CASBO's advocates, Sara Bachez and Elizabeth Esquivel discuss the highlights in the budget and the outlook for increased funding and programs. Guests: Sara Bachez, CASBO Chief Governmental Relations Officer Elizabeth Esquivel, CASBO Senior Director of Policy & Governance


Unemployment Blues

This is a Call to Action! Unemployment Insurance rates charged to school districts in 2021-22 will increase by 2,400% and divert over $550 million dollars meant for students to the Economic Development Department of California. Learn how the new rates will siphon off school funding in this episode. Follow the links below to see the potential impact on your school district and contact your legislator to take action to preserve school funding. Find your LegislatorSample Letter to Legislator - Halt UI Rate IncreaseGuests: Richard De Nava, CASBO President and Assistant Superintendent of Business, San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools Darrin Watters, Deputy Superintendent of Business Services, Hemet Unified School District Sara Bachez, CASBO Chief Governmental Relations Officer


Negotiations 2021

In a normal year, and even with good relations, negotiating sessions with our labor partners can be challenging. Then the pandemic came along and we've been negotiating ever since. In this episode, we talk with two seasoned negotiators about their experience in the last year, what issues are on the horizon as we reopen schools, and how to make the best use of state and federal funding over the next school year. Guests: Matt Phillips, Director, Management Consulting Services, School Services of California William Diedrich, Partner, Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo,


Bills! Bills! Bills!

In this episode, we'll go behind the scenes to talk about the school reopening bill and run through the highlights of this year's proposed legislation with three leading education advocates who work directly for school districts and county offices of education. Join Santa Clara COE Director of Government Relations Amanda Dickey, San Diego USD Director of Government Relations Enrique Ruacho, and Riverside COE Chief Governmental Relations Officer Jeffrey Vaca as they discuss strategies for working with elected officials to advance, modify and kill bills. Guests: Enrique Ruacho, Ed.D., Director of Government Relations, San Diego Unified School District Jeffrey A. Vaca, Chief Governmental Relations Officer, Riverside County Office of Education Amanda Dickey, Director of Government Relations, Santa Clara County Office of Education


Cyber Attacks! Protect - Detect - Respond

School district networks are critical systems that support student and financial information, human resources and instructional media. They’re also under constant attack by insiders and outsiders hoping to gain access to sensitive information, deny service or extort for ransom. In this episode, San Diego County Office of Education Assistant Superintendent & CTO Terry Loftus and Santa Clara Unified School District Director of Information Technology Joe Ayala talk to two experts on steps districts should take to prevent attacks, recognize when you’re being exploited and recover from an incident. Guests: Terry Loftus, Assistant Superintendent & CTO, San Diego County Office of Education Joe Ayala, Director of Information Technology, Santa Clara Unified School District Register for the CASBO Technology Summit Friday, February 26, 2021 | 9:00 a.m. - 12:05 p.m. Registration Open Through February 23


Special Education Funding: How Did It Get Here and Where Is It Going?

The cost to deliver a high quality education for students with disabilities is far higher than the funding provided by the state and federal government. School districts must navigate a complex funding system that is inadequate and inequitable and cover the shortfall. In this episode, we'll talk about how the funding system was designed, what the cost pressures are, and where the funding model is headed. Guests: Brianna Garcia, Vice President, School Services of California Michelle McKay Underwood, Vice President, School Services of California