Stakeholder Input in the Budgeting Process
Every stakeholder involved with a school district could and should have an input in the budgeting process. To begin with there are several stakeholders that do not have direct involvement with the budget. Take for example the Board of Trustees. They have no direct hand in preparing the district budget. However they do set superintendent and district goals. The superintendent is responsible for making sure that the budget has funding allotted to meet the goals set forth by the board. You may also look at other key stakeholders such as any tax payer. As stated in the lecture this week, “ communicating with various stakeholders is certainly a two way process”. Many individuals or businesses that pay taxes, feel that they have a right to have input to where their tax money is being. Most of these individuals do not realize that a majority of the budget is fixed. This is where the two way communication should be in place with the superintendent and the individual. The superintendent should be open to these stakeholders and here there input pertaining to the budget.
The District Improvement Committee and the Site Based Decision Making Community are combined and serve as one group at RISD. Acknowledging that we use a Site Based Budgeting approach this group is of the upmost importance for input to the budgeting process. The SBDM is provided with continual updates on funding, mandates, regulations throughout the budgeting process. The group serves as the liaison between each campus or department to transmit the needs for funding to the superintendent and the Executive Director of Finance. This committee represents the entire district and is able to bring forth every need of the district.
After the SBDM committee presents all requests to the central office then starts breaking down the budget and determining what is feasible. The Central Office Staff provides input pertaining to their departments and they help in determining the allocation of budget funds. This is where the principals become involved as well. They know their own campuses better that any other administrator does. They should be able to make decisions on the major necessities within their campus.
In conclusion, all stakeholders of a district have input that can be extremely important and pertinent to the development of a district’s budget. Some stakeholders have a more direct affiliation with the budget process than others. All stakeholders should keep the district, campus, and superintendent goals foremost when developing and providing input for the district budget.