Is running a high school like running a business? The answer is yes and no.
Why the “yes” and “no” answer? Business leaders seem to like saying that being school administrators is a lesser job because they do not have to deal with competition for income. It is a simple statement but does not match the facts.
Take being a high school principal, such as Jim McCormick, who is running for state representative for District 69, as an example. Yes, public schools are nonprofit, but operating that school requires the same skills as a businessman and probably make a better match to those required as a state legislator.
High school principals are responsible for large budgets. When Jim McCormick was the principal at Seymour High School, the Seymour schools were growing in enrollment. Funding came by per student enrollment. Sounds good? Unfortunately, funding came for only about 22 of each 100 new students in growing districts. Jim McCormick is a fiscal conservative who worked to keep the high school running efficiently with more students and declining per student income. This meant careful management to address possible waste of tax dollars. If this seems like saving only a few bucks, Jim managed operating budget expenditures of more than $7 million and did it exceptionally well.
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