At Work At School

An Afton Partners Blog

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The Business of Education: A Lesson in Financial Sustainability for School Systems

Afton Conducts Professional Seminar on Innovation in Education for the University of Virginia’s MBA/MED Program Key takeaways: Finance is only one of several pillars for assessing and sustaining innovation in education. Real-world content, including case studies, lessons learned, and application of financial best practices, is becoming increasingly valuable to help cultivate financial acumen in education… Continued

New Report: Finance Trends in K-12 Education

Over five years, Afton’s work has evolved from “nuts and bolts” financial operations support to the kind of work that is truly in line with our vision – aligning financial practices to effective academic strategies in America’s schools. Through our work in states and school districts across the country, we identified eight key trends that… Continued

Surviving the Storm, Building Anew

Reflections on Education Reform in NOLA, Ten Years On – Before Hurricane Katrina, public schools in New Orleans had a reputation as some of the worst schools in the country. The district served 65,000 students, but most parents chose private schools for their children if their family resources allowed it. The majority of the public schools were failing both academically and physically… Continued

Finding the Right Balance: Autonomy to Promote Equity—and Academic Success

School districts adjust to prevailing circumstances to promote autonomy, responsibility, and positive change – Much of Afton’s work in recent months has been toward providing principals and teachers at schools with discretion over a relatively higher proportion of total district spending. This in turn allows individual schools more flexibility and discretion in allocating resources that at most districts are already strained… Continued

Roadmap to Reform: Promoting Success in Missouri

Education reform strategy suggests departing from current school funding methods, reallocating funds to empower educators and promote academic achievement, say CEE-Trust and Public Impact. Individual urban schools in America are achieving outstanding results for students from low-income communities. But no urban school systems are achieving such results for most children in an entire city. Faced… Continued

Intrinsic Value: Lessons Learned at a Start-up CMO

Establishing a new blended learning program means stepping out in a whole new direction – I’m a financial analyst who wants to apply my skills to help America’s public schools. Usually, I’m elbow-deep in reports, or parsing spreadsheets on a screen, or in planning and review meetings with schools and board committees… Continued

A House Divided? Separating Academics & Finance Inhibits Success

Promoting improved student outcomes means finance must join the conversation about academic strategy—and must have the tools to succeed. As debate rages about how best to promote reform in America’s cash-strapped public education system, many consider the first step for school districts and charter management organizations (CMOs) is to funnel as many dollars into the… Continued

Blended Learning: A Better Model For Sustainability?

NEW AFTON STUDY HIGHLIGHTS KEY QUESTIONS FOR FUTURE ANALYSIS Afton Partners recently collaborated with Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) and EDUCAUSE to study the business models and start-up plans of successful NGLC Wave IIIa applicants. The objective of Afton’s study was to identify and analyze significant preliminary trends indicated by the applicants’ proposed breakthrough, blended… Continued

What We Mean By Sustainability

INTEGRATING ACADEMIC AND FINANCIAL DECISION-MAKING CAN IMPROVE OUTCOMES AND STRENGTHEN CAPITAL-RAISING – The academic challenges facing America’s public schools are well documented. They’re equaled by mounting financial ones. Districts nationwide are struggling to align academic planning and strategies with available resources… Continued