Learning to manage the fiscal responsibilities of the superintendency

Zysk, Ryan Anthony
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title

Nearly one hundred years of research identifies the topic of school finance as one of the most serious challenges facing superintendents. Superintendents are responsible for overseeing the day-to-day fiscal operations and entrusted to manage large amounts of public funds. The scope of this responsibility combined with a perceived lack of training ultimately amounts to a huge source of anxiety for these school leaders. The purpose of this study is to identify the critical financial competencies necessary for effective school leadership and provide guidelines for the practical restructuring of school finance courses in university-based preparation programs. This study explores the historical development of the superintendency: teacher-scholar, business manager, statesman, applied social scientist, and effective communicator. It examines two critical functions of the superintendent: instructional leadership and school finance. It provides a historical overview of superintendent leadership preparation programs, examining program structure, content, faculty demographics and characteristics, certification requirements and standards, and professional development. This study identifies the specific school finance competencies practicing superintendents perceive as the most essential knowledge and skills that should be covered in university-based preparation programs