Key Challenges for K12 School and District Business Managers

Frustrated female school district business manager on a phone

It is inevitable that educational institutions will shift and grow in an effort to always improve their quality of education. With it, the responsibilities of those within the educational institution will also shift over time.  While change—especially in the realm of education—should always be expected, it can also bring a sense of instability and challenge with it.  In the educational system, school administrators are the leaders in that change, but not without challenge.  Here are some of the biggest challenges that school administrators and business managers are facing right now in the world of K-12 education. 

Work-Life Balance

School administrators are passionate about education, and thus they care deeply about the success of students in their programs. As educators know, the work is never-ending. This can make it difficult to create a healthy work-life balance, knowing that the future of the children they serve will be directly impacted by how successful they are in their roles as administrators.  With all of the challenges that school districts face, there is always more work to do.  This often causes administrators to work overtime, sacrifice time in their personal lives, and have difficulty creating a healthy work-life balance. 

Education Gap

Standardized test data in the United States continually shows that there is a widening education gap between poor and minority students and their affluent peers.  School districts face immense pressure to address those inequities in education and find solutions to close those education gaps.  These solutions often come with a price tag for schools that are already struggling to balance budgets and meet the needs of their students and communities. The issue of the education gap is also one that is not contained within the school, but has roots deep in the social and economic structure of the country, and thus cannot be solved by schools alone, yet schools are ultimately responsible for their students’ success and academic outcomes. 

Budgeting and School Finances

The cost of education has continued to rise in the US, and so has the attention to how those funds are spent.  The school budget has become a source of great stress for school administrators who are in charge of managing the large amount of public funds dedicated to schools. Additionally, the route to becoming a superintendent in U.S. schools is not typically that of a financial or budgeting background, but instead from an education background, meaning that the task of managing a complex budget can often be extremely difficult and create a great deal of stress and anxiety on the administrators. 

Parent Communication

As we become increasingly connected with the expansion of technology, schools need simple ways to stay in touch with their busy families. Luckily, the expansion of technology has also led to creative mobile software and apps that can help simplify the way schools communicate with the families in their school community. One of those solutions is a mobile app called Paywat that is simple and free for schools. Paywat simplifies all communication district-wide through a secure platform. Additionally, it simplifies complicated money collection systems like fundraisers, lunch money, field trips, and any other school payments. Ultimately, Pawat seeks to increase parent communication from its ease and accessibility.

Overall, it is important for school business managers to implement changes to their districts to avoid burnout, keep faculty and staff happy, and improve students’ quality of education whenever possible. Hopefully the above tips will help give school business managers an insightful head start.

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