Budget Development Process

  • Integrated processes drive budget priorities
    Budget Lenses  

    Each spring, the annual operating budget is developed as a plan for how the district will use its resources to support student learning in the next school year. While that budget is being drafted and even after it is approved, several outside factors impact that process and require continual monitoring and adjustments.

    This complicated process relies upon several avenues of input:
    The key to the data driven decision-making process is the sequential alignment of the three lenses. Fall student data informs schools on areas that may need additional focus and support. The actions necessary and the resources needed are integrated in the SIP, which is presented to the administration in Instructional Reviews held in late January through March. Concurrently, the student data drives districtwide programmatic analyses and decisions that are reviewed and prioritized by the FAC and Superintendent’s Cabinet. Finally, the Instructional Review presentations further identify specific school-based resources necessary to finalize the AOP and inform development of the operating budget for the following school year.
    The economic recovery over the past two years, combined with expansion of full-day kindergarten and K-3 class size reduction, has contributed to a teacher shortage throughout the state. In addition, with instructional program changes to Common Core, expansion of STEM, and the increased credits students need to graduate, the shortage is compounded for math, science, language arts, world language, and special education. 
    This reality requires school districts to begin hiring in late January or early February, which “short-circuits” the traditional budget development process. To support the early hiring of staff well before the legislature completes their work, the budget document must "plan for the worst and hope for the best." In the past few years, the budget plan included $2-3 million of budget priorities that will be implemented only if favorable legislative outcomes and positive fiscal projections occur. While the highest needs may be funded early, many important program additions may not be approved for six to nine months.