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At Work At School

An Afton Partners Blog

All Posts

Impact of the Proposed New Child Care Rule on Families and Providers

In July 2023, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) program. CCDF is the primary federal grant that provides child care assistance to low-income working families with children under the age of 13. In addition to policy changes designed to… Continued

Summer Charter School Enrollment Scenario Budgeting Advice

Student enrollment is the engine that powers both mission and sustainability. However, with national birth rates at an all-time low and families increasingly migrating out of urban areas, that task is more difficult and uncertain than any time in recent history. Now is a critical moment to push to recruit new students and plan ahead… Continued

Navigating Uncertainty and Preparing for the Education Fiscal Cliff

Some public school systems, including several who Afton is currently supporting, are already charting their path to navigating their fiscal cliff. While each circumstance is different, we offer guidance to navigate the challenge, co-developed in partnership with the Charter School Growth Fund. Our guidance includes: Understand and confront the reality Engage and empower stakeholders Identify,… Continued

North Chicago CUSD 187: Progress after Injustice

By 2015, the State of Illinois had the most regressive education funding system in the country. When the state put forth its new education funding system in 2018, it calculated each of the state’s ~850 school districts’ funding adequacy targets. North Chicago Community School District 187 had just 54% of the funding it needed to… Continued

ESSER: Our Latest Window to Unjust Public Education Funding

School systems across the nation are continuing to face a unique challenge: effectively distributing the influx of education funding that came with the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER). Yet headline after headline places much of the blame on schools themselves for their spending struggles, arguing that they are too slow to distribute… Continued

Iron Sharpens Iron: Collaboration Amongst Memphis Charter School CFOs

When I think of Memphis, Tenn., I think of resiliency. The vote to disband Memphis City Schools, seceding into six separate school districts, proved to be an egregious example of intentional segregation. That choice deepened existing opportunity gaps facing Tennessee’s highest-need students, while allowing school funding inequities to persist. But Memphis Shelby County Schools and… Continued

Planning for “Re-Entry”: What public school systems can learn from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina

This is truly a unique and unprecedented time for society. For us, the two of us in our respective roles in public education, it’s eerily similar to the days and weeks in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. While the scale and expansiveness of COVID-19 is different than Hurricane Katrina, we find some uncomfortable similarities in the immediate situation… there are scarce resources and no playbook, and we have an urgent, moral imperative to provide for students and their families. Beyond the immediate similarities, there are some lessons from the “re-entry to school” in New Orleans that we share below that we hope are useful for school systems now as they are planning to one day “re-open”. Continued

Afton’s Charter Management Organization Cash Planning Best Practices In Response to COVID-19

Amid the uncertainty brought about by the Coronavirus, Charter Management Organizations (CMOs) are faced with many daunting challenges, and at Afton Partners we understand that the most pressing challenges involve ensuring the safety of employees and students while continuing to provide quality education. And the broader impact of the virus will include financial challenges and… Continued

Getting the Most Bang for the Education Buck

At a recent conference hosted by AEI and the Fordham Institute, experts, including Afton’s Scott Milam, gathered to share their thoughts on how to “Get the Most Bang for the Education Buck”. Through three panel discussions, the experts unpacked topics such as the “why” behind funding and budget challenges, how to stretch the school dollar,… Continued