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School Board Budget Development Guidelines

In delivering on our vision, mission, and values, the following are the School Board’s year-over-year guidelines that drive BSD’s annual budgeting process.

Equity Commitment & Equity-Driven Decision Making

  • The budget starts with an understanding that to be equitable to our students and community we must identify who is in need, what their needs are, and how best to address them. This requires that we not assume that all needs are the same, nor treat such needs equally as equal treatment does not result in equitable outcomes.
  • The budget provides adequate resources for the implementation of policies and programs that support equitable student outcomes that are identified in our strategic plans, annual plans, and school improvement plans.
  • The budget process will be built on our commitment to equity-driven decision making.
  • Equitable community engagement should be the foundation of the development of the strategic plan, which should in turn serve as the foundation of the annual budget.
  • In the event of budget reductions, we will provide equitable engagement of students, families, and staff, inclusive of those who have been historically marginalized and those who speak a language other than English.

Budget Drivers

  • Given that our budget is primarily driven by student enrollment, the budget should include contingencies for unexpected enrollment fluctuations.
  • Budgeting for staff compensation and benefits levels reflect the district’s collective bargaining agreements (a component of which is not deviating materially from the local k-12 educator market to the extent district resources allow).

Financial Health Indicators

  • Budgeted reserves should not dip below the 5-6% threshold and budgeted reserves should be allowed to fluctuate depending on the current financial position and needs of the district.
  • If the Four-Year Budget Plan Summary forecasts any years with a negative fund balance in the General Fund, the current and future budgets will include proportional budgetary considerations that will avoid any projected negative fund balance.

Strategic Plan Alignment

  • The budget reflects the District’s Strategic Plan Priorities, which should be evidenced by the alignment of resources to those priorities as directed by the annual plan.
  • The budget includes sufficient research-based training in effective strategic planning for the Board and district staff when creating a strategic plan.
  • The budget prioritizes goals and strategies specifically selected to close identified opportunity gaps.

Professional Development and Staff Collaboration and Supports

  • The budget represents a strong commitment to hiring and retaining diverse, high quality instructional staff.
  • The budget represents a strong commitment to a system of professional learning, training and cross-training for educators, staff, and the school board in order to increase capacity and ultimately improve student learning.
  • The budget includes necessary time for staff collaboration and coordination necessary to implement selected strategic goals.