Moving beyond the “budget dance”

Here is the link to an article on improving district budgeting that is published in Kappan’s March issue.


The annual budgeting process is a valuable opportunity for districts to systematically examine both resource use and programming and use the findings to inform and drive change to optimize resource use and improve program efficacy that will lead to increased student achievement. Bo Yan and Thomas Aberli discuss three root causes for districts’ inability to accomplish the goals (reliance on problem-driven needs as the dominant factor of budgetary decisions, disconnect between financial management and performance management, as well as human nature). They propose a cycle-based approach to district budgeting that rests on differentiating investment from operation expenditures.

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