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enhanced by budgetary decisions that assure adequate resources to those program efforts that are aligned with district goals and priorities and that can demonstrate success in meeting them. Without this systematic linkage, district fiscal resources end up serving the students and community

ineffectively,

inequitably,

or

inconsistently.

For

example,

freshman enrollment of the Class of 2001 with their projected

Exhibit 5.1.1 compares the actual senior enrollment. The data show an

enrollment

decrease

of

503.65

students

or

52.5

percent.

School Year

1997-98

1998-99

1999-00

2000-01*

4-year Change

4-year Cohort Enrollment

959.65

806.12

604.33

456.00

-503.65 or -52.5%

Exhibit 5.1.1 Four-year Enrollment Comparison of the Class of 2001

Clover Park Public Schools 1997-98 to 2000-01

*Projected enrollment which does not include the Running Start Program.

Based upon the above data, fewer than 50 percent of Clover Park School District’s freshman students are graduating on schedule four years later. These data show weak success in keeping students in school and are not reflected in any budget planning.

Cost-benefit analysis requires a clear delineation of costs compared to documented system gains or results obtained from allocations. Such linkages provide for a budgetary process that is driven by

curriculum needs, priorities, and goals.

Thus, the budget is the numerical expression

curriculum and leadership is to

should assure

mirror program that the budget

expectations. One of the primary responsibilities is faithful to the mission and incorporates results

of of

of the district student

assessment and program evaluation efforts to help assure efficacy and system management of resources is expected to be consistent with budget decisions, and generally accepted principles of accounting.

productivity. Ongoing state and federal laws,

The auditors reviewed recent budget documents, business procedures including the Technical Manual, and the Business and Operations Procedures Manual, planning documents, financial audit

reports, and enrollment/drop-out trends.

Interviews were conducted with board members,

administrators, teachers, other staff members, and community members to determine the processes for budget development and implementation and their effectiveness. Auditors also inquired about fiscal operations and financial management practices as elements of system productivity and individual school accountability.

The auditors found that budget allocations were based on student enrollment, with the district retaining some responsibility and delegating the balance to site-based teams. Budget preparation is governed by the district’s Technical Manual, which establishes processes and timelines, and

differentiates between district and process linking student achievement formal linkages between budgeting

site-based

responsibilities.

There

was

no

consistent

formal

or program performance feedback to budgetary decisions and no

processes

and

district

goals.

For

example,

the

superintendent

attached an open which identified funding priorities

letter dated July 10, 2000 to four overall objectives as top were not evident in a review of

the 2000-01 “Local funding priorities. budget documents or

Budget Summary” document, However, these objectives as through the interview process.

The role of the School Board in the budget process is to adopt policies that direct planning and establish priorities that support the mission, goals, and identified needs (see Findings 1.1 and 1.2). Expenditures must be based upon ranked ordered priorities, which are established through a comprehensive review of achievement data and communicated system-wide. Auditors reviewed board policies to identify direction related to budget development and management. Policies of the Clover Park School District related to financial planning and budgeting are summarized below:

Policy 7000, Debt and Fiscal Management was adopted in January 2000.

It

superintendent

to

“develop

a

debt

and

fiscal

management

plan

designed

to

promote

directs the the orderly

Clover Park School District Audit Report Page 99

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