BUSINESS AND ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES
The Business Services Department provides financial assistance and oversight to the 12 school districts and 10 charter schools in the county. Many of these services are required by law, such as budget reviews, attendance accounting, financial reporting, public disclosures, employee agreements, cash flow projections, and audit findings. Other services offered include financial software for payroll processing, vendor payments, absence tracking, position control, PERS/STRS retirement reporting, group insurance plans, and numerous related accounting services.
This department also reviews, interprets, and communicates legislative laws, Education Code, and other legal issues to district administrators and staff to ensure compliance with laws and regulations. The Business Services Department also oversees the development, monitoring and forecasting of the revenue and expenditure budgets of all funds in the MCOE district and county programs.
During the past decade, the California Department of Education has tried many program-based approaches to improving public schools. Interestingly, regardless of the programs, the same group of schools succeeded and the same group of schools struggled. Consequently, the State analyzed the factors that allowed the successful districts to implement change and meet goals, and what seemed to prevent the struggling districts from doing the same.
The researchers used improvement science to recognize that systems are perfectly designed to get the results they get–intentionally or not–and that by focusing on the forest rather than the trees (the system rather than individual components), the State could affect system-based change. This has led to a dramatic shift in how county offices of education support districts. Rather than focusing almost exclusively on providing curriculum-based support (e.g., providing better math or language arts lessons), we are analyzing the underlying causes that stand in the way of progress–all the inputs that make districts successful: school climate, parent engagement, absenteeism, curriculum, technology, college and career readiness, child development/wellness, and more. With this information, we can help districts allocate scarce resources and build the skills and capacity they need to implement lasting change.
Once we’ve helped districts identify the barriers in their way, we can work with teachers and administrators at schools and districts to help them meet State Board-Adopted Content Standards, which form the basis for curriculum development in grades Transitional Kindergarten through 12. If curriculum and instructional strategies are the barriers, we’ll provide workshops that focus on standards implementation, textbook adoption, and research-based teaching strategies. If campus culture is the problem, we’ll offer innovative support that helps staff and students develop the problem-solving skills they need to overcome the issues unique to their campus or district.
MCOE’s Human Resources department serves as a professional resource for districts regarding employment issues and is committed to providing services that help Mendocino County schools meet their human resources needs.