‘Tis the Season for…the 14-15 Budget

Governor Brown:  Photo credit: newamericamedia.org

Governor Brown: Photo credit: newamericamedia.org

The California Budget Project has posted a useful article on the 14-15 budget debate, which begins with the release of the Governor’s budget on or before January 10.  Also of interest on the CBP blog is their post on the budget process.

And when I say that these links are useful and interesting, I mean that all aspiring leaders in K-12 education need to understand the budget process.  The topic can be super dry, but CBP’s coverage is worthy.

If you are a young budget analyst in K-12 education, here’s my recommendation.  Study the aforementioned and then invite your CBO or Director to lunch.  Ask them about what they see to be the most pressing issues for the 14-15 budget.  The conversation should be lively and you are bound to learn something.

Here are some questions you might ask them:

  • What do you see as the most pressing funding needs for K-12 education in the next couple of years?
  • Are you happy with the Local Control Funding Formula?  How would you change it?  What do you think about the draft regulations?
  • What do you think of the supermajority requirements for tax increases?  What are the best strategies for raising additional funds?
  • What are the greatest risks facing K-12 education today?

In other words, learn what keeps your CBO awake at night and see how your work fits into the bigger picture.

The only times I have ever been interviewed by employees about the district’s budget is when teachers in administrative credential programs are assigned to interview someone in the business department in order to fulfill a course requirement.  I would be delighted if anyone in the business department itself was interested enough to ask me similar questions out of a genuine interest in the topic.  I am pretty sure I would pay for lunch, too.

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