In this episode we explore early financial implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on California schools: What should we know, what should we be planning for, and what might the road ahead look like? There are both some optimistic and sobering stops along the way.

Guest Matt Phillips, Director of Management Consulting Services at the statewide firm School Services of California joins us.  Matt discusses how the state and local districts have prepared for a pending economic crisis, plus we consider Gov. Gavin Newsom’s latest announcement on April 2 that everything is back “on the table” for the 2020-2021 state budget.

We also check in with CASBO’s CEO and Executive Director Molly McGee Hewitt, who describes the new labor-management framework just agreed to by all the major statewide education organizations. Molly also shares how school districts around the state are stepping up to meet the needs of their students and communities, and what concerns her most going forward.


About Matt Phillips

Matt Phillips, CPA, provides support to school districts for fiscal-related matters including budget reviews, salary schedule analyses, organizational reviews, and negotiations. He also presents workshops across the state on a variety of topics including the Local Control and Accountability Plan, collective bargaining, district budgeting, and auditing. His background as a Certified Public Accountant, experience working in a school district, and completion of the Fiscal Crisis & Management Assistance Team Chief Business Official (CBO) Mentor Program that resulted in the CASBO CBO certificate provide the foundation for these areas. Matt graduated from California State University, Chico, with a degree in business administration with emphasis in accounting.

About Molly McGee Hewitt

For more than a decade, Molly has served as CASBO's CEO & Executive Director. She began her career as a public information officer and public relations professional for several unified school districts and non-profit organizations. She has served as a classroom teacher, site and district administrator, and school board member; and she's worked with school districts, county offices of education and educational organizations in North, South and Central America. At CASBO, Molly oversees all leadership, membership, advocacy, professional development and business efforts.


The California Association of School Business Officials (CASBO) is 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.

About your series guide

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