What Is Money?
Conventionally speaking, money is a medium of exchange, a store of value, and a “unit of account.” The last one (“unit of account”) just means that dollars and cents are the “units” (think inches or pounds) that measure income and spending—and wealth and debt.
But all of this explains little, because the reality of money is that having it bestows power. When Adam Smith (in the epigraph) noted that the great difficulty with money was to get a little, he wasn’t thinking of school districts. Nonetheless by virtue of their existence, school districts already have a little money. They all are funded (even if some remain underfunded); their budgets are substantial.
Hume also observed “Money is nothing but the representation of labour and commodities” (Hume, 1752, p. 2). Leadership teams do exert control over the labor and commodities bought with money to support educational purposes in particular ways. They manage, align, and monitor these resources to promote learning and community well-being.