Finance

The Bedford Falls Academy Charger School

At the beginning of a new school year during the Great Recession, Bedford Falls Academy Executive Director Susan Lundberg proposes an ambitious five-year capital improvement and enrollment growth plan. The plan is a complete surprise to the Board, which had met to discuss the school’s strategy just three months earlier. Over the previous three years the highly leveraged and cash strapped school has purchased a new facility on two hundred acres of property, expanded its enrollment area to surrounding communities, and expanded is programming from grades 5-8 to include grades 9-12.

Pineville Hearing & Deafness Center

This case illustrates the struggles of a well established nonprofit to understand its financial position after expanding its real estate and long-term debt just prior to the Great Recession. The case actors wrestle with understanding measures of financial performance including EBITDDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, Depletion and Amortization) and GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) net income and depreciation.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Sections 1602 and 1603: Providing Federal Support for Energy and Housing through Direct Cash Payments in Lieu of Tax Credits

The cash payment programs for renewable energy and low-income housing investments that the Department of Treasury (Treasury) enacted in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the Recovery Act or ARRA) were a creative response to the economic downturn of 2008. They served as tools to help create a lifeline for two important industries in order to achieve the policy outcomes of sustaining and creating jobs, ensuring housing for low-income residents, and furthering the United States’ energy goals.

Enabling Low-Income Families to Buy Their Own Homes While Holding the Land in Trust for the Community: The Power of Balance

The Burlington Community Land Trust has a radical vision: to secure housing as a basic right, not as a commodity to be bought and sold. The Trust enables low-income families to buy homes on land it owns, controls and keeps perpetually affordable. Founded over 20 years ago, the Trust uses the following approaches:

Budget Reorganization in the Urbanpolis Human Resources Department

This case places the student in the role of Pat Alvarez, the Director of Human Resources for a large city. During a harsh budget year, he or she must prepare a city-wide reduction-in-force policy that will apply also to the human resources department itself. Finally, the director will prepare a budget for his or her department taking into account numerous competing demands. This case is unique in that the emphasis on budgeting occurs at the departmental/agency level rather than at a wider jurisdictional level.

Defining Equity: Implementing the Weighted Student Formula in Chicago Public Schools

Pedro Martinez is the Budget Director of Chicago Public Schools (CPS), the third-largest school district in the country. With the support of the Chicago mayor and CPS's CEO, Martinez wants to implement a new budgeting system in the district, starting with the schools that the district is building and reforming as part of Renaissance 2010, an initiative to restructure and revitalize 100 schools in Chicago.

Burn Care Unit

Managed care contracts have reduced the reimbursement levels for burn care in a regional hospital. On one hand, the burn care unit must reduce operating expenses by $500,000, and on the other, nurses are considering a strike for higher wages and benefits. Students are asked to analyze data and assist the CEO by devising a plan to reduce expenses while avoiding a nurses' strike. Students must manipulate realistic data to estimate the outcomes of proposed strategies to adequately staff the burn care unit at lower costs.

Seven Letters

Seven Letters is a classic case that dramatizes the perennial dilemmas of budgeting in a public agency, and illuminates the contrasting perspectives of program managers and budget officials. The sequence of documents going back and forth between program agency and budget office provides a provocative stimulus for exploring the tensions and release valves in the relationship between key players in governmental budgeting. The escalating rhetoric prompts discussion of better ways to communicate, by first understanding one's own role, perspective, and priorities, and then those of the other.

Costs and Constraints in the Arizona Inmate Medical Transport System

This is a case about state and local government, where major problems in providing medical services through a county hospital to inmates of a state prison have prompted a review of the process. Susceptible to analysis by Total Quality Management principles or by other more straightforward analysis, the case discussion allows exploration of how the local and state institutions can work better together and across their own departments to save significant time and money.