According to Townley & Schmieder-Ramirez (2012) the Chief Business Official or CBO is the person who is in charge of managing the schools financial resources. For this reasons, the CBO has many responsibilities under their direct supervision. For example, Townley & Schmieder-Ramirez (2012) point out that some of the task that the CBO is responsible for include “strategic planning; financial planning and budgeting; information technology” (pg. 49)
In terms of strategic financial planning the CBO is responsible for many task within this scope. The strategic plan is a long-term financial plan that is developed to plan out the financial objectives for the district. However, as Townley & Schmieder-Ramirez (2012) point out “effective strategic plan must include several assumptions and “what if” scenarios” (pg. 50). Because of the role of the CBO as the strategic financial planner in long-term financials within a district, it is important for a technology leader to use the CBO as a resource. The CBO as the long-term financial planner along with other stakeholders can facilitate the planning of long-term technology plans by incorporating these expenditures into the districts financial plans. As an example, if a school wants to incorporate Chromebooks in their districts it is the CBO along with other stakeholders who help develop the financial planning for such an undertaking. Since most technology will need to be update and professional development will need to be done for more than one year it is the CBO who can help plan out the strategic financial plans for the duration of the undertaking and account for this when preparing the overall plan for the school district.
Additionally, it falls under the CBO to develop a budget along with other stakeholders. According to White (as cited by Townley & Schmieder-Ramirez, 2012, pg. 50) “district’s CBO has a major responsibility for examining the district’s goals, ensuring that they are student-centered, and calculating the dollars needed to accomplish those goals.” Because the CBO is responsible for the yearly budget, which is the projected income and expenditures that are determined by the districts educational plan, for a particular year, it is important for technology leaders to be aware of changes in the budget that can affect long-term and short-term goals. As Townley & Schmieder-Ramirez (2012) point out “A budget is never etched in stone” (pg. 59). Due to this, it is important for technology leaders to effectively communicate with CBO’s in order to maintain an appropriate budget for technology needs within a district.
Finally, a CBO can be a resource for a technology leader because they are up to date on financial budgets a the state, local and district level which in turn provide technology leaders with financial information in order to make decisions on technology needs and implementations in their districts or schools.
Townley, A., & Ramirez, J. (2012). School finance: A California perspective (9th ed.). Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt Pub.