The Budget > Dates You Schould Know
In Vermont, every school board is responsible for bringing a school budget to the voters every year. The budget development process actually begins seven months before the town votes.
The goal is to develop a budget that successfully represents the priorities and values of our community when it comes to student learning while meeting the needs of local taxpayers. This requires a lot of planning, analysis, and discussion on the part of the school board, superintendent, school administrators, and business manager, along with input and feedback from the community.
Each year the board moves through three general phases:
Phase 1: Setting Parameters and Priorities
The first step in the annual budget building process is for the board to discuss and set specific goals for the budget, such as district priorities or parameters within which the administration must remain. This generally occurs in August through October of each year. We encourage community participation in this stage through public comment during regular board meetings.
Beyond working to ensure the district can meet student learning goals, we also consider a variety of other factors, including the reliability of revenue and expenditure projections (which often fluctuate as new information is received further along in the process); the avoidance of fiscal jeopardy both in near future and further out; and the community’s desire or ability to support the budget.
Phase 2: Drafting Budget Documents
The central office administration and the school principal are responsible for the actual building of a budget that meets the expectations set by the board. Each draft is presented to the board during board meetings along with a rationale; community members are welcome to attend and speak at these meetings. This cycle continues until the board feels the budget meets its expectations and votes to accept the budget.
Phase 3: Communicating The Budget Before Vote
Once the budget is accepted by the board, it must be communicated to the community so that all citizens are adequately informed come voting time. This generally includes presentations before town meeting and letters to the editor. We are currently discussing ways to increase public input and participation in the budget development process for this current round.
The budget is also published as part of the Lakeview Union Annual School Report.
March 1, 2016: Town Meeting Day
March 10, 2016: Lakeview's Annual School District Meeting