School Budgets 101
May 17, 2010
Any local government or agency—including public schools—uses its budget to describe its program plans for the upcoming year.
This brief—written to help expand familiarity with and understanding of school budgets and the role of various levels of government—is a bird’s‐eye view of school budgets and answers the following questions:
- Who is involved in the school budget?
- What is the role and purpose of the school budget?
- What are the major budget categories for school districts?
- Where do the resources for school budgets come from?
- When are school budgets spent?
- How is this information related to the current federal budget proposal and economic realities at the local level?
The content and information presented here is a general overview of school budgets. As such, specifics will vary between both states and districts. As you work through the rest of this white paper, keep in mind that at any given time, school districts are likely managing three budgets: finishing audits/evaluations and final details of the previous budget, operating and monitoring the current budget, and planning for the next budget.