Justin's background as an educator and central office finance specialist makes him a perfect fit for Allovue. His work in the area of resource allocation led him to found Equiday ... which then led him here to Allovue! As a Senior Account Advisor, Justin works with new districts as they evaluate how Allovue can support their finance operations and resource equity goals.
Tell us a little about your background in education.
I always wanted to be in public education and that path has evolved over time. I went to school to be a K-12 music teacher and that’s how I started my career: teaching music in the NYC public school system. I loved it and quickly took on different roles, including one as a data specialist. Seeing the persistent segregation our kids and families experienced and working around limited resource access was eye opening. I left teaching to pursue my PhD in Education Policy, focusing on fiscal equity and school funding. Since then, I've worked in central office for a large district in Maryland and eventually left to found Equiday.
Tell us more. What led you to founding Equiday?
I never saw myself as an entrepreneur. (Ever.) But in my research, I kept coming across districts with all sorts of problems with their funding models. Everything from technical delays and limitations with excel macros to personnel capacity and the cost associated with consultants. Advancing fiscal equity is routed in our capacity to be strategic with how we align resources with need. I wanted to provide a solution that would help districts accomplish this at only a marginal cost (with the extra savings heading straight back into the classroom).
Allovue acquired Equiday—how did that come to be?
Allovue and Equiday were a hand-in-glove fit. From a solution perspective, the funding formula tool we created at Equiday adds to Allovue's capacity to support the budget process from resource allocation through budget planning, expenditure management, and evaluation. The cultural fit, from a company perspective, was also there. The people, values, drive, and deep compassion for equity in public education course through everything we do at Allovue. And I love it! Joining forces, put simply, just made sense.
What excites you most about the work you do here?
My work at Allovue is focused on directly engaging school districts. I’ve spent my career in LEAs, so being near LEA folks is so refreshing to me. I know the power of Allovue's tools and how much value they can bring to districts and staff. Allovue has built something really special and it’s a joy to see people’s reactions when they discover how much they’ll be able to do when they get to work with this great technology.
What’s the most challenging part of your role?
I think the most challenging part of being a Senior Account Advisor is also something that I’ve learned to celebrate. In my role, I help to bring in new district partners. Make no mistake, I don't have a traditional sales background and I'm okay with that. I'm always trying to learn and, ultimately, I think districts really appreciate talking about this work with someone who’s "been there." My insights make it easier to have deep conversation and to connect our products more directly with a district's immediate needs.
When you’re not helping districts, how do you unwind?
Family time is my world. We have a 4 year old who is so much fun and keeps us on our toes. And baby number two is due any day now! I think time together as a family is probably the best way to unwind I could ever imagine. When I can squeeze it in, we also love to travel. We’ve been to 48 states as a family. There are so many amazing things to see and learn about!
I know you’re a fan of “dad jokes.” Tell us your favorite.
Tough question! Here's my favorite at the moment:
Q: How do you invite a dinosaur to lunch?
A: Tea, Rex?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Justin Dayhoff, Senior Account Advisor, has more than a decade of experience working directly in and with public schools. His focus is school finance, with particular emphasis on school, district and state school funding models that attend to advancing vertical fiscal equity for students.