Adventures in Ed Funding

Adventures in Ed Funding


California once ranked among the top states in per student investment. What happened and what will it take for us to climb our way back? Join us as we trek through the surprisingly fascinating world of schools, money and California’s future. ***During the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re also featuring timely stories, guidance, personal experiences and strategies for navigating this health, economic and equity crisis.***From local educators, parents and district leaders to education advocates, researchers and State Capitol insiders, we explore the stories of those who have had a hand in shaping education funding and policy, and all those touched by it.

Economic development and public policy trailblazer Lenny Mendonca — who most recently served as Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Chief Economic and Business Advisor — takes us inside the administration’s Office of Business and Economic Development (Go-Biz) and shares insights on a range of vital topics, including:

– the shape of California’s economic recovery
– the future of work
– K-12 and higher education alignment
– school funding
– the importance of leaders making space to openly discuss mental health, and of course
– the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on just about everything.


Lenny Mendonca grew up in Turlock in California’s Central Valley. He received his MBA and certificate in public management from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he now serves as a lecturer. He holds an AB, magna cum laude, in economics from Harvard College.

As a senior partner emeritus with the global consulting firm McKinsey and Company, he has worked with public sector, nonprofit and corporate clients, and developed expertise in areas such as globalization, economic development, regulation and education. Lenny has chaired and served on numerous statewide, national and regional nonprofit boards and coalitions, such as California Forward, New America, Bay Area Council and Children Now (to name just a few) to help advance ambitious budget, education and governance reforms. Soon after being elected in November 2018, Gavin Newsom appointed Lenny as Chief Economic and Business Advisor to the Governor, a position he served in until April of this year, when he stepped down for health reasons. Lenny lives on the Half Moon Bay coast with his wife, Christine. They raised their two daughters, Allie and Rebecca, there and are the founders and owners of the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company and the Mavericks Beer Company.


– Governor’s Future of Work Commission
– Regions Rise Together initiative
– “I faced a challenge one out of every three people in America has: depression and anxiety,” guest commentary by Lenny Mendonca, July 2020 CalMatters


“California is a state with radically different economies, radically different industries, radically different challenges. It was true before the environment that we’re in today and this pandemic accelerates it: We need to have a closer integration between understanding what the future of work looks like, what jobs will be available and how to ensure that everyone in the state has the educational experience to succeed.”


The California Association of School Business Officialsis the premier resource for professional development and business best practices for California’s school business leaders. CASBO is dedicated to promoting excellence and professionalism in all aspects of school business.Follow at @CASBO


Paul Richman is a public education advocate and consultant. Contact him at Follow at @pjr100

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