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Money for Educational Leadership

Why Should Leadership Teams Worry About Money?

Money is a source of collective power that is often overlooked by leadership teams. Whether or not leaders recognize it, leadership has power because it (1) decides purposes and goals, (2) determines the actions necessary to achieve its purposes and goals, and (3) allocates funds to support the necessary actions.

Leadership everywhere is responsible to make things happen, and the capacity to make things happen is what is meant by power. Particularly in our society—money translates to power.

Leadership teams need to understand this key aspect of their position. But according to some researchers, educational leaders and leadership teams often lack preparation to use money wisely to support a coherent improvement agenda (Bird, Wang, & Murray, 2009; Childers, Elmore, & Grossman, 2005; Roza, 2018).

One basic principle provides a starting point for better management: money should go where it’s most needed. The principle might sound simple, but it’s difficult to put into practice. Even at the state level, determining need is difficult, and allocating resources on the basis of need is also difficult.