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School District Budgets

School district budgets are financial plans for operating the district. They make explicit what the district expects to spend and to receive in revenue for the upcoming year and for several years in the future. In developing their budgets, districts face many different constraints that shape and inhibit what the district can do: fiscal, legal, programmatic, political, and public expectations. As a result, the final budget will represent a compromise between the educational goals of the district and the fiscal and political environment in which it operates.

Prior to the economic recession beginning around 2007, school districts faced a more predictable and relatively stable economic environment. However, since that time, the old and well-understood rules regarding revenue expectations and expenditure growth have changed dramatically. The new ...

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