January 03, 2011

School Finance Guide - 2010-2011

Source: NYSUT Research and Educational Services

I. Introduction

A school district’s fiscal condition has profound implications for local union members. It will determine the district’s ability to maintain and add staff, to improve salaries and benefits, and to offer high quality education programs. Accordingly, it is important for local union leaders to possess a general understanding of both the basic framework of school finance and their district’s particular fiscal situation.

The purpose of this guide is to provide a general overview of the subject of school finance. Some of the specific goals for the guide are to help local leaders:

  • develop a sense of confidence in discussing school finance issues with their own union members, administrators, board members, State Legislators and others;
  • recognize what issues are especially important and what information is available to them;
  • understand basic processes and timelines in school finance; and
  • understand what services NYSUT can offer to help in dealing with school finance issues.

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Table of Contents

I. Introduction

II. School Finance in Law and Regulations
 - The State and School Finance

III. Planning and Managing a School Budget
 A. Basic Accounting and Reporting Requirements
 B. Budget Development and Adoption Process
 C. Budget Implementation and Control

IV. School District Revenues
 A. Overview
 B. State Aid
 C. Property Taxes and Other Local Revenue Sources
 D. Federal Aid

V. Other Items
 A. Fund Balance
 B. School District Borrowing

VI. NYSUT School Finance Services

VII. Glossary
 Part A – Budget Terms
 Part B — Selected School Aid Terms

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