Interview both a district-level finance officer and the school principal to understand how funds are managed and how the school’s budget is developed.

Data-Informed Equitable Resource Plan
The intern understands and demonstrates the capacity to evaluate, develop, and advocate for a data-informed and equitable resourcing plan that supports school improvement and student development.

Artifact: School budget analysis
This assignment requires you to analyze a school budget. This is about the school’s budget, not about the district’s budget. You will interview both a district-level finance officer and the school principal to understand how funds are managed and how the school’s budget is developed.

In some districts, the principal controls all of the funds; but in many districts, the district controls the funds and the principal has limited input. Report this in your assignment.

Using the questions in the Budget Interviews [DOC] resource, interview both your principal and a district-level finance administrator to learn how the district’s financial revenue provides funding for the school’s annual budgets and how principals develop and monitor the school budget. Summarize your findings from both interviews in one narrative analysis (5–7 pages).

In your summary, you must report specific budget sources and amounts for your school. You must report all of the sources from which the school receives funds. Typically, these include a number of federal funds, such as Title I, Bilingual Ed, Migrant Ed, Special Ed; state funds, such as the state’s education funding and, perhaps, special funds (technology infrastructure fund) or grants; and local funds, including local tax money and education foundations.

DO NOT report budget allocations (that is, where the money is spent); instead, report budget sources. Be explicit: name each fund; do not clump them together under the labels “federal,” “state,” and “local.” You must indicate dollar amounts for the school, not the district.

Whether the principal controls large sums or small, the principal still has to decide how to spend the money allocated to the school. For example, are we going to buy microscopes or class sets of novels this year? You must report, explicitly, the steps that the principal takes to develop the school’s budget.

Some districts are reluctant to release budget information. This is a political journey you’ll have to navigate. If your school is a public school, then all district finances are public information and subject to public inspection. If your district refuses to release the budget, it raises ethical questions.

Interview both a district-level finance officer and the school principal to understand how funds are managed and how the school’s budget is developed.

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