Leadership to Address the Fiscal Challenges of Special Education (online)

Magnum Trainings:  Fiscal Workshop


Leadership to Address the Fiscal
Challenges of Special Education (online)


Schedule, Registration, and Payment [HERE]
Two 3-hour sessions, on non-consecutive days, via ZOOM with video ON

This is an advanced issues online workshop, with an emphasis on fiscal strategies and structural options to analyze and manage your special education programs….

This online workshop is for Superintendents, Assistant Superintendents, School Business Officials, Special Education Administrators, and other leaders with an interest in administration of special education programs. Districts may want leadership teams to participate.

About This Workshop
     Special education programming has a high cost and a disproportionate impact on the overall financial health and stability of a school district’s operations. You are not powerless. This time, in this year, provides you with a unique opportunity to review and potentially implement special education cost control measures. You may need to address specific financial concerns and mitigate the rising costs of Special Education programs.
This is a practical workshop to help you identify decisions and structures that fiscally impact special education services. The introduction will review the fiscal structure options of special education services and how administrative structure works as part of your school district’s budget strategies. Dr. McLeod and Ms. Blackman will identify pressure points and offer specific fiscal strategies to address special education costs while meeting student needs. You will develop the skills needed to analyze areas of concern in your own district. Between the two half-day sessions, you will have the opportunity to analyze components of your district’s special education services and budgets. You will be provided structured worksheets. You will participate in structured exercises to review your district’s fiscal history and assess the effectiveness of your district’s leadership structures in addressing the fiscal challenge of special education.

Suzanne McLeod, Ed.D., Superintendent of Schools (retired) and Assistant Professor

Dr. Suzanne McLeod served as Superintendent of the Union Endicott Central Schools for eleven years (2008-2019). Immediately prior to her superintendency, Suzanne served as an Assistant Superintendent for Business, and again prior, as a Curriculum Director. These administrative experiences provided her with insights into special education program budgeting and the cost control strategies available to decision makers. Combining her observations and discussions with fellow superintendents and business officials, she has formulated strategies to address the fiscal challenges of special education. During these difficult budgeting times these strategies are of high value to special education program managers.
Dr. McLeod is currently an Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the Educational Leadership Program at Bingham University (SUNY). In her career Suzanne has taught a variety of subjects and different grade levels in both elementary and secondary schools in Michigan, Massachusetts, and New York. Her college teaching includes education courses at Hofstra University, Broome Community College, SUNY Oswego, and Binghamton University. Dr. McLeod has authored professional articles on trust, home schooling, and bullying. She wrote A Principal’s Guide to No Child Left Behind, and teaches workshops to aspiring leaders.
     Kathryn Blackman, CPA, Central Business Office Controller
Kathryn Blackman has 35 years’ experience in New York public school finance. She is currently the Controller of the Broome Tioga BOCES Central Business Office (2013 to present), Immediately prior to her Controller position Kathryn worked 19 years as the School Business Official in Chenango Forks Central Schools (1995-2013), and again prior, ten years as an external auditor. The BOCES CBO oversees the finances of 14 component school districts. This unique background and perspective has given her insights how different districts structure special education budgets and cost control special education programs for savings.
Ms. Blackman is currently an Adjunct Professor in the Teaching, Learning and Educational Leadership Program at SUNY Binghamton. Ms. Blackman presents fiscal issues and considerations to regional Boards of Education. She regularly conducts training sessions for administrators on school finance, expenditure control, program budgeting.

Dr. Jim Merrins is Executive Program Administrator of Educational Support Services. He administers numerous statewide fiscal workshops for superintendents and experienced school administrators, including Fiscal Navigation for Superintendents, The School District Negotiator,and Claims Auditor Training. Jim has more than 40 years experience in school administration, including 16 years as a Superintendent in Fredonia and Honeoye, New York. Dr. Merrins is NYS certified as a School District Administrator and School Business Administrator. Dr. Merrins taught school finance and school law at SUNY colleges for several years.

The cost of this workshop is $275 for the first participant, plus $245 for the second participant, plus $225 each for the third and subsequent participants from the same school district or firm.

Each workshop participant will receive workshop-related materials.

Hosted and administered by ESS
James M. Merrins, Ed.D., Executive Program Administrator

ESS Policies, Terms, and Conditions [HERE]
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Contact James Merrins, Ed.D.
Comments, corrections, source documents, and questions welcome
Educational Support Services
42 Rosalyn Court, Fredonia, New York 14063
(716) 672-5473, FAX (716) 672-5472, jmerrins@cecomet.net