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Schooling in the Era of COVID-19: Smart School District Budget Management in the Context of Reduced Education Revenues

Finance webinar
Time: to

Join us on Wednesday, May 13th, 2020 for the third webinar in our series, Schooling in the Era of COVID-19: Smart School District Budget Management in the Context of Reduced Education Revenues.

Sponsored by A+ Colorado, Education Reform Now, Democrats for Education Reform, Colorado Education Initiative, Colorado Children’s Campaign and the Colorado Sun.

This discussion will cover how our state’s rapidly declining budgets will impact school district budgets and what can be done to manage a district budget to ensure the impact is not disproportionately impacting the most vulnerable students.
What should districts be considering when thinking about budget building and cuts?
How can districts ensure that the dollars are going to best meet student needs with a lens of equity in terms of meeting the most vulnerable students?
How can and should districts think about community engagement and the politics in their community to ensure that budget decisions are informed by the community, research and data?

The conversation will be moderated by Erica Breunlin from the Colorado Sun, and the webinar will include a presentation by Dr. Marguerite Roza from Georgetown University, one of the leading experts on school finance followed by a panel discussion with:

Erik Johnson, former CFO Denver Public Schools

Shari Davis, Executive Director of the Participatory Budgeting Project

Glenn E. Gustafson, CPA. Deputy Superintendent/CFO of Colorado Springs School District 11


About the Speakers

Marguerite Roza, Ph.D., Georgetown University

Dr. Roza is Research Professor and Director of the Edunomics Lab (, a research center focused on exploring and modeling education finance policy and practice. She leads the McCourt School of Public Policy’s Certificate in Education Finance, which equips participants with practical skills in strategic fiscal management, finance policy analysis, and financial leadership.

Dr. Roza’s research traces the effects of fiscal policies at the federal, state, and district levels for their implications on resources at the school and classroom levels. Her calculations of dollar implications and cost-equivalent trade-offs have prompted changes in education finance policy at all levels in the education system.

Prior to her appointment at Georgetown University, she served as Senior Economic Advisor to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Earlier, she served as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy teaching thermodynamics at the Naval Nuclear Power School. Dr. Roza earned a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Washington and a B.S. from Duke University. She also studied at the London School of Economics and the University of Amsterdam.

Shari Davis, Executive Director of Participatory Budgeting

Shari heads PBP’s leadership team, communications efforts, and development strategy. She joined PBP staff after nearly 15 years of service and leadership in local government. As Director of Youth Engagement and Employment for the City of Boston she launched Youth Lead the Change, the first youth participatory budgeting process in the US, which won the US Conference of Mayors’ City Livability Award. Shari first got involved in city government in high school, serving as the Citywide Neighborhood Safety Coordinator on the Boston Mayor’s Youth Council and working at the Mayor’s Youthline. Shari is a graduate of Boston University’s Sargent College for Health and Rehabilitation Sciences and holds a master’s degree in anatomy and physiology.

Erik Johnson, Former Chief Financial Office for DPS

Erik is a proven financial leader and the former Chief Financial Officer for Denver Public Schools. Prior to joining DPS, he served in financial leadership positions in the telecommunications and technology sectors. As CFO of DPS, Erik was responsible for leading all financial operations of Denver Public Schools’ $1.4 billion annual spend including long-term strategic planning, risk management, payroll, accounting operations, grant management, strategic sourcing and accounts payable. Erik is passionate about driving equitable funding and increasing school autonomy with the goal of reducing the opportunity gap. Currently, Erik is spending time at home working on his house and enjoying time with his wife, stepson, Welsh Corgi and three cats.

Glenn E. Gustafson, CPA- Deputy Superintendent/CFO of Colorado Springs School District 11

Mr. Glenn E. Gustafson, CPA, has been with School District 11 since January 1992. His current position is Deputy Superintendent/Chief Financial Officer. He currently oversees the following departments: Accounting, Budget, Procurement, Facilities & Operations, Risk Related Activities, Food & Nutrition Services, Production Printing, and Charter Schools. Mr. Gustafson was formerly the Director of Finance for the City of Fountain, Colorado. He received his BSBA in accounting from the University of Colorado in 1982 and his MBA with an emphasis in finance from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs in 1990. Glenn is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Certified Public Finance Officer (CPFO).