For years, Leander ISD has hosted a monthly Leadership LISD class to provide community members with an opportunity to learn firsthand about the many programs and innerworkings of our district. Due to the popularity of the program, and as a part of our Board of Trustee’s emphasis on transparency, we launched another class last year, Financial Leadership LISD, to provide an in-depth look at how our district spends taxpayer funds.
More than 30 community members, selected by application to ensure all segments of LISD are represented, took part in this year’s class.
They met monthly between October and April for a 90-minute “lunch-and-learn,” a presentation and discussion with LISD experts about topics like human resources and staffing; the budgeting process; what it takes to open a new school; bonds and debt; and how we handle purchasing and contracts for a school system with 38,000 students and 5,000 employees.
Class members remarked that one of their favorite activities was touring LISD’s warehouse, where we inventory, store and distribute the massive volume of materials needed to run a school year-to-year — desks, kitchen supplies, athletic equipment, front office furniture, lightbulbs, music stands, toilet paper, etc.
While the class ended in April, Financial Leadership LISD alumni will have the opportunity to continue on to the 2017-18 class starting again this fall to learn about additional financial aspects within our school district.
Roughly one-third of our most recent class members opted to participate again after completing the first year’s program.
It is our goal that by providing this kind of long-term continuing education opportunity, we are preparing participants in the same way we do our students, to leave well-equipped to use their knowledge in any number of endeavors. Financial Leadership graduates can take their “deep-dive” learning on to enrich their school’s PTA, serve on district-level committees or share their expertise with other boards and associations in our community.
Once again, I am so grateful to work and live in an area with such invested parents, community members and staff, eager to learn and participate in our school system. For many other school districts in our state, operational knowledge stays segregated from its stakeholders for lack of interest either on the district or community’s part. It is no secret that we — our schools, our neighborhoods, or economy, our children — thrive when supported by a system that shares knowledge, communication and priorities.
I would also like to thank our business partners who have made the program available at no cost to participants. Their contributions have provided lunch for the class each month, making it easier for members to take time away from their busy work and personal schedules to learn with us.
To learn more about the program, please click on the Financial Transparency button on the left side of our homepage and click on the Financial Leadership LISD link.