School District Budgeting

The Uniform Budgeting and Accounting Act[ccxiii] mandates a budgeting system for public entities in Michigan. These public institutions include all 552 conventional school districts, 57 intermediate school districts and approximately 225 charter schools.[359]

Section 14 and 15 of the act provide details about responsibility for preparing budgets and a list of data that should be contained within. The basic budget requirements are straightforward. Subsection 14(3) states:

“The chief administrative officer shall transmit the recommended budget to the legislative body according to an appropriate time schedule developed by the local unit. The schedule shall allow adequate time for review and adoption by the legislative body before commencement of the budget year. The recommended budget, when transmitted by the chief administrative officer, shall be accompanied by a suggested general appropriations act to implement the budget.”[360]

Subsection 15(1) stipulates, “The recommended budget shall include at least the following:

  1. Expenditure data for the most recently completed fiscal year and estimated expenditures for the current fiscal year.

  2. An estimate of the expenditure amounts required to conduct, in the ensuing fiscal year, the government of the local unit, including its budgetary centers.

  3. Revenue data for the most recently completed fiscal year and estimated revenues for the current fiscal year.

  4. An estimate of the revenues, by source of revenue, to be raised or received by the local unit in the ensuing fiscal year.

  5. The amount of surplus or deficit that has accumulated from prior fiscal years, together with an estimate of the amount of surplus or deficit expected in the current fiscal year. The inclusion of the amount of an authorized debt obligation to fund a deficit shall be sufficient to satisfy the requirement of funding the amount of a deficit estimated under this subdivision.

  6. An estimate of the amounts needed for deficiency, contingent, or emergency purposes.

  7. Other data relating to fiscal conditions that the chief administrative officer considers to be useful in considering the financial needs of the local unit.”

These sections of the Uniform Budgeting and Accounting Act, combined with the school fiscal year mandate in the State School Aid Act of 1979 (Public Act 94), regulate timely production of district budgets.[361]

[ccxiii] The Uniform Budgeting and Accounting Act, passed in 1968 and amended in 1978, 1980 and 1996, can be found at MCL § 141.421.