CFO Strategy Network
What Is It?
Chief Financial Officers in Texas school districts play a pivotal role in the success of the students they serve. This is especially true given the opportunities inherent in Texas House Bill 3 (86 R)– and especially important given the dramatically increased student needs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Texas CFOs must play a pivotal role in catalyzing new ways of thinking, acting, and investing that re-envision overall resource use rather than making incremental changes that are unlikely to meet the needs of the moment.
The Texas CFO Strategy Network brings together school district finance leaders from across Texas who are committed to transforming outcomes for students and maximizing the impact of their districts’ resources: people, time, and money. The network aims to support CFOs by equipping them with the knowledge and skills to enable them to act as strategic leaders within their districts and provide a venue for CFOs to meaningfully collaborate and learn together.
The CFO Strategy Network is facilitated by Education Resource Strategies (ERS). For over a decade, ERS has been leading networks of strategic CFOs focused on rethinking the use of resources and transforming schools and systems.
The Texas Impact Network co-sponsors the CFO Strategy Network with the Texas Education Agency. As part of this network, the CFO Strategy Network offers its members the unique opportunity to access peer advisory, expert engagement around common data, facilitated exploration of barriers and challenges, and cross-district collaboration. Member benefits include but are not limited to:
- Regular Convenings: The CFO Strategy Network convenes regularly through virtual and in-person convenings to engage collaboratively in cutting-edge topics in CFO leadership. Each meeting agenda is designed to present issues relevant to members using a combination of data, external research or experience, and member district context such that the discussions are action-oriented. Topics should help CFOs seize the opportunity of Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds to sustainably transform learning and address urgent, increased student needs, and help CFOs advance priority initiatives of HB3.
- Network of strategic-minded CFO peers: Members of the CFO Strategy Network gain access to a community of CFOs from similar-sized districts who are committed to sharing experiences, insights and challenges, who are committed to the role of the strategic CFO. We offer opportunities to share problems of practice with the group to gather advice and to influence the state dialogue on system transformation.
- Access to leading-edge data and tools: Strategy Network members also gain access to (and receive training/facilitation with) the full suite of data and tools that ERS has developed for its clients over the past 15 years of working with more than 40 school districts and ten states. Members also benefit from sharing tools and materials across participating districts.
Broad & Diverse Support
The CFO Strategy Network is accessible to any school system in the state of Texas with a focus on Texas Impact Network members and Systems of Great Schools districts. There are currently more than 40 districts serving more than one million Texas students in the Network; these districts are split into two cohorts based on district size.
The Strategic CFO (PDF)
Unpacking Enrollment and Demographic Changes
"The Texas CFO Strategy Network has provided an opportunity to connect with smart colleagues and gather new ideas about how I can leverage my role as CFO to improve outcomes for our students."
CFO, Richardson ISD