Sharp Vision for School Leaders
By Charles K. Trainor
Seeing the light at the end of the tunnel has two meanings. It could mean you are reaching the end of a difficult situation. On the other hand, that light may mean you are about to be hit by a speeding train.
Clear vision can help distinguish a solution from a catastrophe, as you can see from this example: In 2006, five Wisconsin school districts attempted to shelter themselves from increasing costs associated with employee retirement. District leadership wanted a safe funding source for retiree health care premiums. Although their goal was prudent, their investment salesman and his brokerage firm misled the districts about a high-risk deal, which was inappropriate for school districts. As a result, the district lost $200 million. The final outcome has yet to be decided by the courts.
The financial well-being of any school district relies on the sharp vision of its board members. Trust the many functions of sight to strengthen your board’s effectiveness. For example, enhance your insight into money matters by collaborating with administrators and expanding your knowledge base. Foresight and hindsight can help you anticipate problems and learn from past decisions. Combined, these strategies are essential components for the oversight necessary to guide your district toward its mission.
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