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Sacramento is the hub of business in California. The ebb and flow of rules and regulations originates here and extends to all corners of the state. Nowhere is this more evident than in the state’s public school system. While there is a degree of autonomy in the 1,000 or so school districts, they are all tethered to the State Department of Education, centered in Sacramento. The finances for the state’s schools are here.
Sean Martin is the chief financial officier and director of information technology for the Pollock Pines School District. He provides some insight into how his degree has helped him become a leader in the school system.
What was your major and what is your current title?
“I graduated from California State University, Sacramento with a B.S. in business administration in accountancy. My current title is chief fiscal officer and director of information technology. I’ve been the C.F.O. for eight years. I.T. director was added six years ago. My background in accounting and business definitely helped with the transition to education business. Due to the volatile nature of education funding and the requirements of government accounting, education business is a very unique system, very different from the private sector. The basic accounting/business education has been very helpful in many decisions I have made during my time working as a school district C.F.O.”
Have you continued your education over the years?
“One of the reasons I have enjoyed my job in education is due to the ever-changing programs and funding rules. This keeps me constantly on my toes, learning new things. Currently the primary source of funding school districts, the Revenue Limit, is being completely replaced in the governor’s budget proposal with a new system called the Local Control Funding Formula. Learning the new rules is critical to ensure the continued solvency of our schools.
“I have attended many seminars and classes on education funding. I am certified as a chief business official through the California Association of School Business Officials. I am very active in the Association of California School Administrators, and am currently the president-elect for the El Dorado County Charter. I also serve as president of the School Board of the Placerville Union School District.”
Could you have gotten to where you are without your education?
“I personally do not feel that all of the opportunities that have been available to me would have occurred without my education. I place a very high value on education and its ability to provide opportunities for those who may come from socio-economic disadvantages. That is why I love my job in eduction. While I don’t work directly with children, what I do impacts the learning environment. I think it makes a positive difference.”
Charles Ferris is a freelance writer who has lived in the Sierra, halfway between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe, for the last 37 years. In 2010 he retired from teaching after 36 years . He and his wife hike, kayak, cross country ski, snow shoe, ride mountain bikes and road bikes, year round. His work can be found at Examiner.com.