Chief Financial Officer (Immediate Opening)
About IDEA Public Schools:
At IDEA Public Schools, we believe in college for ALL and we are committed to ensuring that all our students graduate from college. IDEA Public Schools has grown from a small school to the fastest-growing network of tuition-free Pre-K-12 public charter schools in the United States sending 100% of our students to college. 50% of our students graduate from college in 6 years – that’s 8 times the national rate for students in our communities!
IDEA was founded in 2000 as a single school with 150 students in the Rio Grande Valley. When interest exceeded building capacity, to meet the demands, IDEA’s co-founders committed to serving more students in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas and beyond. We now serve nearly 53,000 students across Texas and Louisiana. By 2022, IDEA will serve 100,000 students. Be on the lookout for IDEA schools opening near you—with continued growth in our current regions and new launches in Houston (2020), Permian Basin (2020), and Tampa Bay (2021)!
When you choose to work at IDEA, you are part of our IDEA Team and Family. You will work alongside team members who set and reach ambitious goals every day, are excited to continue to grow with IDEA, and work relentlessly to make college for all a reality.
To learn more about IDEA, check out this video.
IDEA’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) leads the financial vision and strategy for all entities of the organization, ensuring IDEA has the financial leadership and resources to readily support and accomplish its organizational mission of College For All Children. The CFO serves as a key business partner to the Chief Executive Officer, Board of Directors, and Executive Team, as well as external stakeholders, such as our institutional bond investors. The CFO sets high standards for financial integrity and stewardship across the organization while overseeing the Business Office to execute financial operations with impeccable customer service, ensuring compliance with all regulatory and governance requirements, and providing guidance to the internal audit function at IDEA.
To learn more about IDEA, check out this video.
1. Achieve annual operating goals to ensure long-term financial stability
- Monitor budget process to ensure it is aligned with strategy and fiscally conservative
- Make organization-wide financial decisions aligned with the long-term fiscal health of IDEA
- Monitor budget and year end projections monthly to ensure on track performance to achieve targets
- Ensure the organization adheres to the requirements of the state’s Public Fund Investment Act
- Adopt processes to ensure for the most efficient utilization of technology and treasury management structures to yield cost savings
- Direct organizational structures needed to support entity expansion and establish all legal structures, including 501(c)3 designation
- Create and implement separate financial accounting and reporting systems, as needed
- Fully design, incorporate, and monitor financial and governance compliance, reporting, budgeting, workflow, and transactional interchanges between IPS and new entities into IDEA business office operating mechanisms
2. Maintain A- investment grade credit rating from Standard & Poor’s for IDEA Texas
- Maintain at least a 1:35 Maximum Annual Debt Service (MADS) and at least 135 Days Cash on Hand (DCOH)
- Achieve FIRST Rating of A, the highest state accountability rating
- Adhere to strong financial reporting and delivering financial results within 20 days of month-end and 90 days of year-end
- Ensure that no material weaknesses are reported as part of the annual external audit
3. Maintain the highest levels of integrity and financial stewardship over all funds, both public and philanthropic, while providing the outstanding customer service and support to campuses and HQ teams
- Communicate clear expectations for adherence to policies
- Develop and manage internal mechanisms for oversight and accountability
- Build and improve the operating mechanisms to provide top notch customer support year around at campuses and HQ
- Invest in tools and processes to scale best practices, reduce costs in personnel and issue revisits, and track customer service fidelity over time
4. Lead and execute all financing to support capital improvement plans
- Lead annual debt issuance process
- Strategically aligning operating income targets to support debt issuance in accordance with Master Trust Indentures and existing and future Debt/Bond Covenants
- Secure interim debt facilities to support CIP costs for future Bond Transactions
- Continue due diligence, modeling, and financial expertise support to the IDEA Advancement team during vetting of new regions and information sharing with philanthropic organizations in and out of Texas
- Plan and/or execute all future site acquisitions in accordance with construction timetables
- Manage/approve “Cap Ex” (capital expenditures) funding sources related to any use of excess bond proceeds
- Collaborate with external partners (i.e. Project Managers, Brokers, and Attorneys) to evaluate sites to support growth
- Facilitate the land acquisition, negotiation process, construction procurement, and service awards
5. Mitigate organizational risk through cost-effective insurance
- Collaborate with IDEA’s broker and lead annual renewal process for IDEA insurance program
- Maximize insurance coverage while minimizing cost
- Launch training and resources to ensure safety protocols are top priority for all IDEA stakeholders
- Lead the team to work efficiently through claim management and mitigate outstanding risks
6. Live values of IDEA
- Believes and is committed to our mission: that all students are capable of getting to and through college
- Is driven by outcomes and results, and wants to be held accountable for them
- Has a propensity for action, willing to make mistakes by doing in order to learn and improve quickly
- Thrives in an entrepreneurial, high-growth environment; is comfortable with ambiguity and change
- Seeks and responds well to feedback, which is shared often and freely across all levels of the organization
- Works through silos and forges strong cross-departmental relationships in order to achieve outcomes
- Embodies IDEA’s core values
- Committed to strengthening diversity, uplifting equity, and honoring inclusion throughout the organization
- Directly manages leaders of the IDEA Public Schools Financial Planning, Finance, and Treasury/Risk Management teams and the Directors of Finance for all other entities
Knowledge & Skills:
- Strong understanding of public school finance, with familiarity and knowledge of the unique charter school governance regulations (as distinct from other public schools)
- Ability to oversee multi-state and multi-entity enterprises
- Education: bachelor’s degree required; master’s degree in business administration or finance strongly preferred
- Experience: 15+ years of professional work experience required; at least 5 years of senior leadership in a financial role required; 3+ years as a school system CFO strongly preferred, especially for an organization serving 50,000+ students
- License or Certification: CPA preferred
IDEA Public Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex or disability, in admission or access to, or treatment of employment in its programs and activities. Any person having inquiries concerning the organization's compliance with the regulations implementing Title VI of Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504), or Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), may contact IDEA Human Resources at (956) 377-8000.