(podcast) Hope For Our Catholic Schools (Part II): Operational Models

In the second part of our series on Catholic School Financing, O’Meara Ferguson president and founder Patrick O’Meara discusses the spectrum of operational models used in Catholic education. Following the spectrum illustrated below, O’Meara details the structure, benefits and challenges of four operational models:

  1. The cost-based model
  2. The annual fund model
  3. The philanthropic (donation-driven) model
  4. The stewardship model

O’Meara further explains that the point where a school falls on the operational model spectrum, is the lens through which all decisions regarding a school’s health, vibrancy and sustainability should be made.

While discussing the various models, O’Meara notes that many times there is a disassociation between the “revenue drivers” and the “cost controllers”, and that often, the two will try and manage the school in isolation instead of collaboration. And, while categorizing schools on an expense basis instead of a revenue/sponsorship basis has been the primary comparative model of the Catholic Church, O’Meara believes it is less helpful.

“We believe that the larger driver of the measurable, actionable items that will drive health are in the revenue/sponsorship side”, O’Meara says, “and that should be seen in conjunction with the expense side – but the expense side is the less informing model.”

In the conclusion of the podcast, O’Meara mentions charter schools and voucher programs, and their effects on the operational models of Catholics schools now and into the future.

Click below to listen to Part II – You may listen to or download this podcast in full, or in three parts, whichever is more convenient for you.

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