Budgeting of Schools: Part art, part science
Each year the budget for the school district is carefully pieced together using a system of reliable calculations, educated guesses, and reasoned projections.
By the time a budget is approved in late August for the upcoming school year, only a few of the actual revenue amounts are known. The vast majority of revenue come from the state and federal governments and those amounts might change based on complicated budget formulas and actual enrollment. It's a system that relies on experience, but not on exactness.
Enrollment is critical. Budget formulas are multiplied by the number of students actually attending classes, calculated by averaging the number of students throughout the year. When enrollment projections are too low, it will result in too few teachers and classrooms at the beginning of the school year. When enrollment projections are too high, it forces the district into mid-year budget reductions.
The school district's fiscal year begins September 1.