Budget development actually starts in early November when the Board of Education and Administration begins to identify their budget objectives and the factors external and internal to the school district that are likely to have the greatest impact on the next year’s budget. Such factors can include rising prices for fuel or health insurance, for example, or the expectation that we will be impacted by a new state mandate or a change in pupil enrollment.
By December, the Board of Education and the Superintendent has created a detailed budget development calendar that includes the objectives and context for the new school budget.
In January, the Superintendent receives preliminary budget requests for the coming school year from school administrators, as well as requests for additional staffing and possible new or improved programs.
February, March and early April are spent analyzing and discussing these requests with the Board, Administrators, and various stakeholders. The school board and administration begin to present and solicit public input on the budget and devote time to budget development issues at its regular February and March business meetings. Administrators work to refine their numbers as more accurate cost estimates and enrollment figures are received during this period, and as Board members ask them to analyze the advantages and disadvantages of providing a service in a different way.
Throughout the winter and spring, school board members and administrators are also monitoring budget activity at the state level. Wayland-Cohocton school board members and administrators are in frequent contact with local legislators to inform them how various state funding proposals will affect our schools.
In mid-April, the Board of Education votes on a proposed budget. A newsletter describing the budget is then printed and mailed to all district homes in early May. A copy of the proposed budget broken down by line items is also available in May at the main office of each school or the District Office. The public vote on the proposed budget is held by law on the third Tuesday in May.