REGIONAL SCHOOL DISTRICT ANNUAL BUDGET
The annual budget is the financial expression of the goals to the School Committee in meeting the needs of all students.
The budget then requires an orderly and cooperative effort by the Committee, the staff, and the regional community to achieve the goals of the district.
Public school budgeting is regulated and controlled by legislation, state regulation, regional agreement, and local Committee policy. The operating budget will be prepared and managed in line with the above.
In developing a budget, care shall be taken to make the documents associated with the budget clear and understandable to School Committee members, to municipal officials of member communities, and to the general public.
At the discretion of the Finance Subcommittee, an informal public information meeting may be held to solicit input from the general public. In accordance with the District Agreement, a public hearing shall be heard prior to the adoption of the Final Operating and Maintenance Budget by the District Committee. The Superintendent and members of the Finance Subcommittee will make every effort to fully inform all member communities and their officials of the budget plans of the District.
The budget shall be in compliance with the foundation budget. It is acknowledged that the foundation budget reflects the minimum recommended spending for a District, and excludes transportation costs, debt service costs, and costs associated with the acquisition of fixed assets. The aforementioned items must, therefore, be budgeted in addition to the foundation budget, and funds to support those expenditures must be raised from the member communities, after the use of any offsetting revenues received from the state.
Assessments to member communities shall be made in compliance with the foundation budget, which may, in certain instances, differ from the apportionment under the District Agreement. When there is a conflict, state law shall prevail. In assessing for expenditures which are excluded from the foundation budget, the District Agreement shall determine the apportionment of assessments after the District Committee has applied all applicable state aid. The District Agreement notwithstanding, there shall be no requirement for the annual operation and maintenance budget for the District to be adopted prior to the receipt of funding estimates from the state.
The Superintendent will serve as budget officer but may delegate portions of this responsibility to members of their staff, as they deem appropriate. The three general areas of responsibility for the Superintendent as budget officer are budget preparation, budget presentation, and budget administration. A budget is a spending plan, which is developed well in advance of the fiscal year. Circumstances may occur which necessitate changing spending priorities and redirecting funds within the budget accordingly. Revisions to the budget may be made from time to time by the Committee, upon the recommendation of the Superintendent.
The annual budget for each school operated by the District shall be developed with input from the School Council, and shall reflect the priorities established in the Annual School Improvement Plan.
SOURCE: MASC 2021
LEGAL REFS.: M.G.L. 71:16B; 71:34; 71:37 and 71:38N
Approved by SC: 12/08/2022