Budget challenges bigger than a bake sale.

School districts push out so much information to their patrons, often wondering what is being heard and what goes in one ear and out the other. The current budget challenges are a prime example of how difficult this situation really can be.

Case in point: Recent research we’ve conducted on behalf of school districts shows a good level of awareness of the financial maelstrom that’s taking place right now, and even some specific awareness of steps that school districts are taking to address the issue. That’s the good news.

The bad news is one of the patrons’ solutions – mentioned more often than you might like to hear – is for the school district to “conduct fundraisers.” That’s right; the path to financial stability is dotted with sales of trash bags, cookie dough and wrapping paper, according to a meaningful segment of school district patrons.

This isn’t to criticize either the patrons – their hearts are in the right place – or the school districts, whose leaders are trying their best to get the word out. It’s just a wake-up call that you can never, ever be too repetitive on complicated matters such as budget woes.