A new chief financial officer will be taking up post in the Baltimore city school system in July, following the resignation of Mike Frist who resigned after a little less than three years on the job.
Taking his place is Victor De La Paz, an administrator from Hartford, Conn., who the system describes as having "a background in finance," having worked in business development for a decade and as a deputy CFO in Hartford for about a year.
De la Paz joined the Hartford school system in 2008, serving as a special assistant while particpating in the Broad Residency in Urban Education--a two-year program that trains managerial candidates in education--from 2008-2010.
According to the system, he started his administrative experience just two years ago.
He comes straight from a short stint a Hartford's Chief Operating Officer, where he said he managed getting students "from bed to the classroom and back home at the end of the day" in the district of 25,000 ; as Hartford's deputy CFO in 2010, he managed a budget of $400 million and oversaw the district's per-pupil budgeting process, similar to Baltimore's.
As he takes over a position in a district three times as large, and a budget in the billions, it seems that De La Paz was tapped for some critical measures the district is looking into strategic budgeting, particularly around making operational costs.
For instance, the district will begin studying how its central office services can be more efficient, possibly looking at a fee-for-service model. It's an idea that school officials touched on in recent talks about to streamline how charters and traditional schools are funded, and can receive the same amount--the maximum amount--of cash per pupil.
"District leadership expects De La Paz to build on this reform foundation in his new capacity as
City Schools CFO," the school sytem's release said, "and to push school autonomy over resources—and district office efficiencies by extension—to a new level."
You can read the school system's release here.