TregoED Blog

Making Decisions Under Pressure Requires Patience

“Pressure!”(With apologies to Billy Joel)

Spending deadline’s coming up


You had better not screw this up


You have the money, now’s the time to spend

But here you are with your wants and your needs and your shortages and such

Your regulations and your tests and your parents and the rest

It’s all just



Superintendents, new and experienced alike, are faced with unprecedented funding and opportunities to remedy some of the effects and inequities caused by or brought to light by the Covid Pandemic.  With deadlines looming there is a lot of pressure to both spend the money and get it right!

Time is of the essence

Time seems to be a major source of that stress – time to assess what’s working, what needs are, and what can be done in the time allotted. Slow reimbursements, confusing requirements, materials delays, staffing shortages, and changing legislature have added to the pile. As the National Report Card just reported huge losses in math and reading, the urgency for investing in academic recovery, demonstrating positive results and planning for the future are now even more apparent.  Hardly seems like the time to slow down the decision making, does it?  But that is exactly what needs to be done to achieve the results that you are looking for.

With great spending comes great responsibility  

Take the time to get it right.

Take the time to:  Clarify your goals

Take the time to:  Define what you need in the results

Take the time to:  Consider your objectives and evaluate each alternative against your objectives or criteria

Take the time to:  Weigh the risks

Using a process (like Decision Analysis) that incorporates all the above considerations is the key to making the best possible decision for your American Rescue Plan spending as well as other crucial decisions involving investing in materials, building renovations, transportation, and personnel.  Shared decision making (not the “we made the decision and now we’re sharing it with you” type) is the key to collecting the best information to drive your decision making.  While it may take more time, having the right information and people involved saves you both time and money and the possibility of getting it wrong in the long run.