Essential Steps to Assessing a School System’s Fiscal Health

  • Joshua R. ZenderEmail author
  • Kenneth A. Smith
  • John R. Kurpierz


Academic researchers serve a critical role in helping school districts achieve fiscal sustainability. This chapter examines techniques for capturing, organizing, and analyzing financial data around the information needs of educational stakeholders. Specifically, it examines the challenges associated with consuming and managing fiscal data within this restricted environment. The discussion is framed around five fundamental steps used when studying how districts engage in financial planning, control, and decision-support. Using the financial statements of a school district, this segment of the textbook provides step-by-step illustrations of essential methods one must apply to assess the financial health of a school system operating within this complex environment. The chapter concludes with practical research tips from individuals seasoned in governmental accounting and auditing techniques.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joshua R. Zender
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kenneth A. Smith
    • 2
  • John R. Kurpierz
    • 3
  1. 1.School of BusinessHumboldt State UniversityArcataUSA
  2. 2.College of BusinessCentral Washington UniversityEllensburgUSA
  3. 3.Schulich School of BusinessYork UniversityTorontoCanada

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