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School Budget Development Process


Brenton Higgins

on 5 January 2016

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Transcript of School Budget Development Process

Who are the major contributors to school budget development?
School Funding Team
Resource Allocation
Manages central office budget development
Manages agency revenue projections
Assists with school budget development as needed
Talent & Culture*
School Principals
Consult with school community on budget priorities
Develop budget based on perimeters established by management team
Manages school budget development
Develops local revenue projections
Facilitates development of school budget proposals from central offices
Develops school allocation model
Compiles the School Budget Guide
Coordinates support for principals during school budget development
Excluding public engagement efforts
Management Team
Identify budget priorities for upcoming fiscal year
Manage development of budget proposals within respective offices
Negotiate what is included in school budgets for the upcoming fiscal year
Approve the agency's proposed budget
Federal Programs & Grants
Develops federal grant revenue projections
Coordinates development of school-level allocations funded by federal grants
Provides grant allocations to School Funding Team to incorporate into school allocation model
Provides support to principals during school budget development
Develops average salaries for school-based positions
Determines personnel costs for add-ons like fringe, bonuses, and substitutes
Reviews and approves new position proposals
Drafts guidance for personnel services
Provides support to principals during school budget development
*formerly Human Capital
Develop proposals that impact school budget development
New programs
Continuing but changing
Develop program guidance to share with the community
Provide support to principals during school budget development
Content Area Experts
Program Offices like Teaching & Learning and Chief of Schools
Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
Provides historical data for analysis
Consults on development of average salaries
Compiles budget after schools submit plans
Monitors and implements current fiscal year budget
Processes reprogramming requests
Provides technical assistance to principals
Summer Key Milestones
School Budget Development Key Milestones
School Budget Development Process & Timeline
Chancellor sets budget priorities
DCPS establishes budget development timeline
Student Budget Hearing
Public Budget Hearing
LSAT Community Meetings and other engagement opportunities announced
Planning Meetings & Working Groups
Planning Meetings
Working Groups
Meetings with program offices
Overview of project timeline
Review of FY16 deliverables
Program proposals
Continuing, Changing
Budget Guide
New content
Overview of proposal templates and other available resources
Finance Working Group
Resource Allocation
School Funding
Federal Grants
Chief Financial Officer
School Planning Working Group
New programs
New schools
Grade configurations
Principal Advisory Panel
Chancellor's Parent Cabinet
Public Engagement Begins
Strategy & Planning
Public Engagement, Planning, & Enrollment Projections
Grouped by geographic location & aligned by feeder patterns
Principals and school staff (80%), and parents (20%)
Meeting Structure
Chancellor presents
Overview of previous fiscal years' achievements
Chancellor introduces her priorities
Chiefs present details of priorities to frame discussion
Chancellor Presents
Facilitated by DCPS volunteers
Discussion questions provided by Chiefs and address specific priorities
Feedback posted to
Small Group Discussions
Other Public Engagement Opportunities
Everyone/Everywhere Campaign
Chancellor's Parent Cabinet
Community Organizations & Councils
Stakeholders can post feedback regarding specific questions about DCPS' budget planning. This site also houses feedback gathered during LSAT community meetings.
First introduced for FY16, DCPS will launch an updated version of a budget engagement toolkit with which the community can conduct engagement autonomously. Stakeholders can post feedback directly to
The Chancellor's Parent Cabinet meets periodically to provide consultation. The Chancellor engaged them regarding budget planning twice for FY16.
Other stakeholders engaged around DCPS budget planning include but are not limited to S.H.A.P.P.E., Ward education councils, media, and the DC Fiscal Policy Institute.
My School DC Lottery projections due
Initial school budget proposals due
Public engagement feedback synthesized and distributed to program offices
Other Important Milestones in November
Revenue Projections, Cost Analyses, & Enrollment Projections
School Budgets
About 85% of the agency's budget
Central Budgets
Central budgets are broken into 2 categories:
DCPS has dozens of fund sources, and these are just a few of the categories.
Title & Other Federal Grants
For FY17, a Finance Working Group should periodically meet to discuss fund sources and revenue projections.
Intra-DIstrict Funds
Local Funds
Uniform Per Student Funding Formula (UPSFF)
Private Grants
& Donations
About 15% of the agency's budget
School Support (about 10% of agency's budget)
Central Administration (5% of agency's budget)
Enrollment Projections
The majority of school grades are predicted using a three-year cohort “Moving Average Model”. If you’ve ever watched the stock market, many traders use a moving average as one tool to determine where a stock’s price is headed. Below, we have broken out the moving average model to walk you through how projections are calculated.
Projections for Non-Transition Grades
All projections for a school begin by looking to the past. First, the past four years of student enrollment is collected by grade:
Second, cohorts are identified between school years. A cohort is a group of students who move with each other from one grade to the next. In the example below, three cohorts are represented by color, showing their progression from 1st to 2nd grade:
Our next step is to calculate a growth rate. A growth rate represents the number of students who advanced from their current grade to the next grade between two school years. In the following example, we calculate a growth rate for 1st graders moving to 2nd grade:
Then we take an average of the three growth rates...
... and multiply that average by the incoming 1st grade cohort.
The “moving average model” does have one flaw which we correct in office on rare occasions to ensure our projections are as close to accurate as possible. If a certain school-grade has experienced either massive growth or decline consistently, the model tends to over amplify that trend for the following school year. If a school grade is much too high or much too low for their historical trends, we will adjust the projection to match historical grade trends.
Initial Cost Analyses & Reports for Management Team
Chiefs submit budget proposals to the School Funding Team for initial cost analyses and synthesis. The estimated costs of each proposal is listed in a report that compares the cost of implementing certain proposals to the agency's revenue projection. Chiefs can select which proposals they would prioritize and the report automatically recalculates.
We also conduct position-level analyses to identify the largest variances between fiscal years. This helps us understand the impact that enrollment has on our proposed budget.
Analysis #1: Proposed Proposals, Costs & Revenue
Analysis #2: School-based Allocations Fiscal Year Comparison
Finally, we look at the individual school-level, analyzing how shifts in enrollment affect allocations.
Analysis #3: School-level Allocation Fiscal Year Comparisons
DCPS Funding Overview
The School Budget Allocation Model
1. Grade Level Enrollment Projections
2. Update control sheet.
3. School administration allocations.
4. Elementary School teachers & aides.
How do we calculate elementary grade teachers?
6. High School teacher allocations.
6. Middle grade allocations.
Middle Grade Teacher Allocation Model
Middle Grade Allocations - Incl. NPS
7. Special education & ELL allocations
8. Title Allocations
OFPG provides the SFT with school-level Title allocations, which are loaded as flexible funds during the budget development window. OCFO works directly with OFPG to budget Title to specific line items after principals submit their budgets.

OCS allocates some Title dollars for specific programs and provides a rough accounting of those school-level allocations, both PS and NPS, to the SFT. Examples include some literacy specialists, 9th grade academies, and Twilight academies.
9. Program-specific allocations.
9. Final (Initial) & budget development window allocations.
Program-specific allocations come directly from budget proposals submitted by program offices and approved by management team. These allocations are considered carry-over unless otherwise noted in the approved proposals.
Final (initial) allocations are a sum of all allocations for a school, plus the school's remaining at-risk balance after at-risk funds are allocated for non-base model allocations (e.g. technology instructional coach). No school is allowed a reduced budget by greater than 5%, so schools in that category receive additional funds. These funds are loaded as required funds that must be petitioned out of.
During the budget development window, specific allocations are adding to schools as requested and approved. Sometimes this is because of a model error and other times it is because of an agreement made between school principal and the Chief or the Chancellor.
More model analysis and refining -
Training and resources
As proposals are reviewed and approved by Management Team, programs begin submitting and/or updates their budget guide sections. This is a lengthy process with many revisions. New for FY16, we launched a website, though too late for users to take advantage of it. For FY17, the website should be the primary source for all budget guidance.
Initial School Allocation Model Worksheet
Submitted Budget Worksheet
Once the model is final, we can develop our initial allocation model and submitted budget worksheets. These are dependent on the model's structure so are usually the very last deliverable before allocations are shared with schools and the public.
Initial Allocations and Technical Assistance Sessions
This year, DCPS held Technical Assistance (TA) sessions by appointment to allow principals more flexibility. In previous years, principals were grouped by cluster or school type and designated a specific time slot.
Allocations are loaded into the school's budget as either required and flexible. All required allocations require a petition in order to be reaallocated. That process is outlined below:
Budgets submitted in School Budget QuickBase Application
Principals build their school budgets using a custom QuickBase application. The process is much like adding items to a shopping cart on Amazon.
Information Sharing &
City Council Budget Hearings
Other Activities in February
QuickBase budget load
Schools and points of contact
Item catalog
Line items (required and additional)
Fund sources
Initial allocations dashboard launches at DCPS Interactive Data Center
Publish school budget allocation worksheets to DCPS website
LSAT webinar (collab. w/ OFPE)
School Budget Overview Doc
Comprehensive summary of student enrollment and school budgets, comparisons to previous fiscal year, and strategic investments.
DCPS Interactive Data Center
The DCPS Interactive Data Center, launched in January 2015, offers a dynamic, user-friendly environment in which the public can learn more about student enrollment and school funding. Dashboards are arranged by Fiscal Year and offer a variety of information.
OCFO Compiles the DCPS Budget
The budget developed in QuickBase by principals.
The budget compiled by OCFO ready for submission to the Mayor's office.
DCPS receives its official MARC, or budget projection, from the Mayor's office.

This has traditionally been the launch of the formal budget development window and contributed to the very short turnaround time for our schools.
The public hearings usually occur the last week of April. First, the public has an opportunity to testify. Then the Chancellor and her management team defend the agency's submitted budget. Council members pay close attention to every line of the budget, and there is usually a fair amount of revision before the budget is passed in late May.
Summer Preparation & After-Action Review (AAR)
After-Action Review (AAR)
Summer Budget Activities
Reprogramming requests for upcoming fiscal year
Current fiscal year NPS freeze
Summer budget advance
New employee orientations
Summer Budget Advance
Since DCPS operates on the federal year, October 1 to September 30, special arrangements must be made to ensure schools have adequate resources for the start of the school each year. The agency has budget authority to allocate and use up to 10% of its upcoming fiscal year's non-personnel services (NPS) starting July 1.
FY16 Summer Advance Communication
Summer Reprogramming Requests
Summer Reprogramming
Request Example
Principals submit budgets to Chancellor
DCPS defends budget in front of City Council
City Council passes DCPS budget
Request module opens in School Budget App
Summer Reprogramming Request Approval Flow
Reprogramming Caveats
Personnel requests can be processed right away per an agreement with CFO
NPS changes can't be submitted until Oct. 1 and usually don't process until early winter
Upcoming Fiscal Year Budget Modifications Timeline
Summer Budget Advance, Current Fiscal Year Spending Freeze and New Principal Orientation (NPO)
Proposed Summer Advance Process
New Principal Orientation (NPO) & Other New Employee Orientations
New Principal Orientation (NPO)
Other Orientation Groups
Strategy & Logistics (S&L) Pilot
Business Managers
Collaboration with OCFO
Summer 2014 was the first year that New Principals had a thorough orientation. The School Funding Team presented but did not provide any resource materials.
In July 2015, we provided all new principals with a comprehensive resource binder, partitioned by month.
Enrollment Reserve Allocations
Schools that exceed projected enrollment for the fiscal year receive 1 additional ET-15 or the equivalent in funding for every additional 30 students.
Summer Reprogramming Requests and the New Fiscal Year
This year, we received and approved almost 500 modifications to the FY16 budget. September 4th, those requests were exported and compiled into an official request by OCFO. OCFO submitted that request to OBP on October 1.
What is at-risk funding?
Fair Student Funding Act of 2013
DCPS allocates at-risk funds to schools depending on the percentage of the school’s students who are considered at-risk of academic failure. students are currently defined as at-risk of academic failure if they meet one of the following criteria:
homeless or in the District’s foster care system;
qualify for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP);
high school students who are one year older, or more, than the expected age for the grade in which the students are enrolled.
Funding for at-risk students is provided through the Uniform Per Student Funding Formula (UPSFF), which the district uses to allocate resources to both the traditional and charter school sectors.
An important characteristic of the at-risk legislation is that it is based on a per-pupil allocation model (weighted student funding),
which DCPS
does not use
to allocate resources to schools.
An Overview of At-risk Funding
How did we allocate at-risk funds for
What are our options for the FY17 budget?
What about the future of at-risk?
Step 1:
Though the majority of the school allocation model does not consider fund source, several NPS items were at-risk funded in FY16.
Per DCMR, the UPSFF was not built to be a model for allocating specific dollars to students. The UPSFF was designed to fund both the education of students and the operation of the agency. Therefore, of the foundation amount (approx. $9500) each child receives, a portion is earmarked for operational costs. A weight of .219 allocated directly for at-risk students actually becomes much larger when the foundation is adjusted for student-level funding.
We developed an at-risk allocation "menu" (items below). This menu was a result of backing out a very minimal "foundation" allocation of resources (principal, teachers, custodial staff, etc.). What remained were items that
could be

funded through at-risk dollars.
Step 2:
We analyzed the school budget item catalog to differentiate between "base" model allocations and "supplemental" allocations.
Step 3:
Each school was then analyzed to determine its "at-risk attribution" until all items deemed "supplemental" were attributed to at-risk. Any remaining amount would be allocated as at-risk funding on top of the the model allocation.
At-risk Funding Included in the Comprehensive Staffing Model (CSM)
First, all allocations considered "supplemental" were isolated.
The total "supplemental" allocation was summed and compared to the at-risk allocation for the school.
If the attribution was larger than the at-risk allocation, items were backed out one by one until the attribution matched the allocation as much as possible.
The attributions were then scrubbed to reflect only those allocations needed to meet the total at-risk allocation.
Where the "supplemental" items were insufficient to equal the at-risk allocation, an additional sum was added to the budget for the "at-risk allocation". These were loaded as required allocations, and principals had to petition to use them. These petitions were reviewed and approved by superintendents.
Step 4:
Principals built their budgets based on these allocations. However, there is a lot of movement between initial and submitted budgets, and the process had to be repeated after principals submitted their budgets.
Step 5:
After the final at-risk attribution was completed, it was shared publicly. Each school's submitted budget worksheet, posted to the DCPS website, also included a detailed table of its at-risk allocations.

At-risk legislation is not compatible with our current school funding model. If we were to allocate at-risk funds exactly as written, we could not afford most of the resources that schools have become accustomed to receiving each year (instructional coaches, literacy supports, extra teachers to diversify schedules). Therefore, unless DCPS modifies its current model, the approach taken for FY16 should be the default.
*OCFO will implement a coding structure for at-risk funding in FY17. This will allow us to track expenditures and implement the at-risk carryover legislation passed in FY15.
Full transcript