This is the fourth and final installment of the series of updates designed to keep the board informed during the 2014-15 MMSD budget development process. The first update reviewed the budget process, priorities, and expected revenues. The second update explained our goals for a school-based staffing process that was more responsive to the needs of each school and its students. The third and most recent update explained our vision for reallocating at least $500,000 from central office accounts to schools’ non-personnel budgets. This update is a follow-up on that vision.
Zero-Based Budget Development: Central Office Departments
Throughout the 2014-15 budget process, we have remained focused on MMSD’s Strategic Framework, which emphasizes the importance of the work being done at each school, particularly as it relates to the School Improvement Plans (SIPs). We recognize that schools must have the support and resources needed to successfully implement their SIPs. At the same time, however, we are also faced with the limitations of the current school funding situation, which creates a finite pool of resources available to the district.
A key benefit of a zero-based approach to budget development is that it enables us to examine current resource distribution, identify district priorities, and then realign resources to support those priorities and student learning. Because the work of the central office is designed around the schools, our goal was to identify opportunities for redistributing resources from the central office departments to the schools with a targeted amount of $500,000 – $1,000,000.
Taking a collaborative approach to the process, we met with the leaders of each central office department to thoroughly review their existing budgets and find areas to create better efficiencies. Through this process, we were also able to improve their resulting budgets by aligning their resources with their actual budgetary needs and creating a cleaner set of accounts for them to use during the 2014-15 fiscal year.
After several rounds of meetings, we successfully identified $1,000,000 in the central office budgets that was available to be repurposed. We reallocated from accounts for supplies, travel, substitutes and temporary staffing, equipment and consulting services. Of the $1,000,000 amount, half will be used to fund locally staff that were previously funded, partially or wholly, by Title I[M1]