At this point in the process, everyone in the district who personally manages a budget, including principals, will have received their allocation for the following year. Now it’s time to create a detailed plan for staffing and discretionary spending to make sure that every dollar is spent to best support students. This is the season when principals may meet with their staff and community to discuss budgetary priorities for the upcoming year. If improving literacy rates by 3rd grade is a big goal, for example, principals may focus on freeing up resources for new literacy interventions. If the school wants to expand recess time or after-school programming, they may have to shuffle resources around to meet new needs.
Resources include people, money, and time. Since people make up the majority of the budget, schools can often free-up resources for new programs or class offerings by making creative and strategic scheduling changes. Our partners at Abl Schools are working with schools to create master schedules that will accommodate the evolving needs of school operations. Volunteers, local grants, community partners, and other fundraisers may help fill the resource gaps when there isn’t room in the budget. The more schools lead these conversations openly with parents and communities, the more creative solutions you will from them. Hopefully, parents will also come to appreciate the challenge of school budgeting.
As school budgets are solidified with their local communities, the district will share the entire budget and submit it to the board for approval.
Getting your board, community, and schools on the same page about your budget is an ongoing challenge for many administrators. Ask us how our expert visualizations and customized school profiles can help you understand and share budgeting and spending patterns at the school level in comparison to district averages. Give us a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|A Seasonal Guide: How are school budgets made? *Summer Edition*||A Seasonal Guide: How are school budgets made? *Fall Edition*|