At this point in the budgeting process, district officials must rank their spending priorities and determine funding levels for the district’s programs, policies and personnel. The number of people making these decisions will depend on the district’s size and business culture. Many smaller districts delegate such duties to one or two people, while larger districts may set up large formal committees.
Once funding requests have been prioritized, a business officer (or in many cases a superintendent) will update the initial budget costs and revenues based on input from district officials and new information about such matters as the anticipated state foundation allowance and potential changes in enrollment. If necessary, officials will then schedule meetings with key budget officers and community leaders to review priorities developed through the central office decision process.
For instance, a superintendent may need to communicate his or her intention to shutter buildings, merge departments or make new staff assignments. Personnel decisions in particular are often made early in the year to ensure staff the opportunity to plan accordingly.[ccxxiv] District officials may then inform union officials of proposed employment changes in order to allow union representatives to review the changes in light of collective bargaining agreements and the tenets of the Michigan Teachers’ Tenure Act.[ccxxv] The initial budget presentation is updated to accommodate input and spending prioritization made by the central office.
[ccxxiv] Some districts’ collective bargaining contracts may specify a deadline for informing employees of future layoffs. These deadlines may drive a district to make its personnel decisions earlier than other districts do.
[ccxxv] The Teachers’ Tenure Act can be found at MCL § 38.71 through MCL § 38.191.