Annual Budget (GFR)
The Regional School District Committee delegates the development of the District budget to the Finance Policy Sub-Committee which will, with the Superintendent, Business Manager, and the District Treasurer, develop annual budgets for the operating and maintenance of the District, and such capital budgets as shall be necessary for the pursuit of the goals of the District and the educational programs proposed and approved by the District Committee.
Said budget shall conform to the guidelines as set forth by the Legislature in Chapter 71 of the Massachusetts General Laws and directives and regulations as set forth by the Massachusetts Department of Education, and 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.
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.
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.
In developing a budget, care shall be taken to make the documents associated with the budget clear and understandable to Finance Committees of member communities and to the general public.
At the discretion of the Finance Policy 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 Policy Sub-Committee will make every effort to fully inform all member communities and their officials of the budget plans of the District.
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.
LEGAL REFS.: M.G.L. 71:16B; 71:34; 71:37 and 71:38N