Middle School Budget Challenge

~45 minutes

This simulation involves a middle school principal responding to a request from the superintendent for a 15% budget cut in two weeks. The principal must determine the process for arriving at the cuts, who to involve in the process, and how to drive alignment around priorities. Of course, there are many conflicting perspectives to be managed, as well as a rumor mill working overtime. How will various stakeholder groups be managed to arrive at an optimal result?

Key characters include a school counselor, community activist, district technology director, parent liaison, math department head

Key trade-offs to consider:

  • Communicating with your broad constituency with maximum transparency, while controlling the inevitable rumor mill
  • Making time for listening to and considering each stakeholder, while adhering to a tight deadline

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Created in partnership with the University of Pennsylvania