The annual budget is the financial plan for the operation of the school system. It provides the framework for both expenditures and revenues for the year and future years and translates into financial terms the educational programs and objectives of the district.
Five-year budget plan
The superintendent or designee is directed to develop, subject to annual approval by the Board, a five-year budget plan that assures the future financial viability of the district and achievement of the district’s objectives and takes into account future revenue, including tax and non-tax revenue, and future increases in operating expenses.
Public school budgeting is regulated and controlled by statutes and by requirements of the State Board of Education that prescribe the form of district budgets in order to ensure uniformity throughout the state.
The budget shall be presented in a summary format that is understandable by any layperson. The budget format shall itemize expenditures of the district by fund and by student. It shall describe the expenditure and show the amount budgeted for the current fiscal year and the amount budgeted for the ensuing fiscal year. When budgeting for any enterprise funds, the district shall use the full accrual basis of accounting. The budget shall summarize revenues by revenue source and expenditures by function, fund and object.
The budget shall include a uniform summary sheet for each fund administered by the district that details the beginning fund balance and anticipated ending fund balance for the budget year; the anticipated fund revenues for the budget year; the anticipated transfers and allocations that will occur to and from the fund during the budget year; the anticipated expenditures that will be made from the fund during the budget year; and the amount of reserves in the fund.
The budget also shall disclose planned compliance with spending limitations outlined in Article X, Section 20, of the Colorado Constitution, including holding TABOR reserve funds in an unrestricted general fund or in cash funds.
The Board assigns to the superintendent overall responsibility for annual budget preparation, budget presentation and budget administration, but the superintendent shall have the authority to delegate portions of this responsibility to the business manager. As part of the superintendent’s budget responsibility, the superintendent shall cause to be prepared a budget preparation calendar that shall ensure that all deadlines established by law for budget presentation, hearings and adoption and for certification of amounts to be raised by school tax levies are met by the school district. The budget calendar shall take into consideration the possible need to submit a request to raise additional local revenue to a vote by the district’s electorate.
The budget prepared and presented by the superintendent shall be consistent with the budget priorities of the Board as established in policy DBD.
Maintaining a fiscal year-end fund balance as an operating reserve in the general fund is a beneficial and sound financial management practice. The Board of Education assigns to the superintendent or designee the responsibility of accumulating and maintaining a general fund balance amounting to 2% of the district’s current fiscal year adopted budget as an operating reserve. Accumulation of the full 2% general fund balance will be completed by the end of the current fiscal year, unless otherwise approved by the Board.
This amount will be in excess of the emergency reserve required by Article X, Section 20 of the Colorado Constitution (TABOR).
The operating reserve is intended to serve as a “rainy day” fund and will be used only for an unexpected loss of revenue or an extraordinary expenditure. Expenditures from this reserve shall be reported to the Board.
If any part of the operating reserve is used in any fiscal year to cover an unexpected loss of revenue or an extraordinary expenditure, funds will be reallocated to restore the year-end fund balance in the operating reserve before any other budget allocations in the subsequent fiscal year, unless the Board of Education approves otherwise.
Maintaining resources in the capital reserve fund is a beneficial and sound business practice and protects the public’s investment in school district facilities. The Board directs the superintendent or designee to budget an amount up to __________ each year to the capital reserve account for capital outlay expenditures authorized in state law. This amount shall be transferred from the general fund to the capital reserve fund. The amount transferred from the general fund may be reduced by any money collected from the sale of land, buildings or both or any payments collected from the dedication of lands or voluntary contributions from a developer.
Revised: August 9, 2005
Revised: September 23, 2014
LEGAL REFS.: C.R.S. 22-11-302 (1)(a) (district accountability committee budget recommendations)
C.R.S. 22-11-402 (1)(a) (school level accountability committee budget recommendations)
C.R.S. 22-32-109 (1)(b)
C.R.S. 22-44-101 through 117 (school district budget law, Board shall cause a proposed budget to be prepared and shall adopt a budget for each fiscal year)
C.R.S. 22-44-106 (operating reserve)
C.R.S. 22-44-301 et seq. (Public School Financial Transparency Act)
C.R.S. 22-45-103 (1)(c) (authorized expenditures from capital reserve fund)
C.R.S. 29-1-103 (3) (budget to reflect lease-purchase payment obligations)
CROSS REFS.: DAB*, Financial Administration
DB subcodes, (all relate to the budget)
Huerfano School District Re-1, Walsenburg, Colorado