Best Practices on School Budgeting


The GFOA announced the release of the first public drafts of best practices to guide budgeting for school districts and community colleges. These best practices describe a budget process that allows school districts and community colleges to focus their financial planning on what is truly important and provide practical advice for making the connection between finances and long-term student success.
All best practices are available on GFOA’s website at the following links:

Community College Best Practices
School District Best Practices

The GFOA invites interested parties to visit the website and submit feedback. Final versions of the documents will be available in early 2015.
To develop the best practices, GFOA staff worked with a team of experts, advisors, and practitioners to identify leading approaches. A small pilot group of school districts and community colleges then applied the best practices and integrated them with their budget processes. These organizations found that the best practices have helped make a direct link between resource allocation and what happens in classrooms. The best practices have enabled these organizations to close significant deficits without resorting to across-the-board cuts or other tactics that don’t support their mission (e.g., cutting professional development). Perhaps most importantly, the best practices support a partnership between the finance officer and the academic officer, where both parties work together to develop a budget that is financially sustainable and that better aligns resources with student achievement.