FY 2021 Budget Development Priorities
In order to provide guidance and direction to the Superintendent in the preparation of the FY 2021 Proposed Superintendent's Operating Budget, the school board compiled the following budge priorities in no certain order or significance for consideration, discussion, and approval by vote during the January 14, 2020, Open Session:
- Preserve and enhance student programs and associated needs as possible based on student interest and enrollment, with an added focus on current and future Center for Career and Technical Education (CCTE) programs.
- Maintain and enhance school safety as possible considering local law enforcement recommendations and the Maryland Center for School Safety Policies and Regulations.
- Maintain and enhance licensed mental health service providers as possible.
- Make every effort to provide employees with negotiated benefits, including salary and health insurance benefits, such that their take home pay would not be less due to increased employee shared costs of health insurance, and give raises if possible.
Funding and Budgeting
The School System is also fiscally dependent on local and state aid to fund its daily operations. State aid is largely formula-driven based on student population and wealth. Local revenue, provided by the Allegany County Government, is dependent upon the economic condition of the County. Most of the operating and capital grant funding is from the State and County governments and Federal grants passing through the State.
School districts are required to operate on a fiscal year which begins July 1 and ends June 30. State statutes require that school districts operate with a balanced budget, which has been approved by the local Board of Education. The budget is presented to the local Board for approval in May. After Board approval, it is submitted to the County Commissioners for review and approval.
The budget process begins in November with meetings between the Central Office staff, department heads and school principals and continues through the following spring when the budget is adopted by the County Commissioners.
The Current Expense Fund operates under a legally adopted annual budget. The budget is subdivided into State mandated categories of expenditures. These categories are Administration, Mid-level Administration, Instructional Salaries, Textbooks and Instructional Supplies, Other Instructional Costs, Special Education, Student Personnel Services, Student Health Services, Student Transportation, Operation of Plant, Maintenance of Plant, Fixed Charges, Community Services, Food Services, and Capital Outlay. The legal level of budgetary control is at the category level.
The School System is the trustee, or fiduciary, for two fiduciary funds: the School Activity Fund and the Retiree Insurance Benefit Plan Fund. These funds are reported as separate Agency Funds. We exclude these activities from The Board of Education of Allegany County's other financial statements because their assets cannot be used to finance the School System’s activities. We are responsible for ensuring that the assets reported in the School Activity Fund and Retiree Insurance Benefit Plan Fund are used for their intended purpose.
Formal budgetary accounting is employed as a management control for all funds except the School Activities Fund. Annual operating budgets are adopted by the Board each fiscal year through the passage of an annual budget and amended as required for all funds. Budget amendments requiring a change between categories require approval by the Board and by the County. The budget is prepared using the same basis of accounting as is used to record actual revenues and expenditures/expenses, except in the Proprietary Fund Type and the Governmental Fund Type–School Construction Fund. The Proprietary Fund Type prepares its budget on the modified accrual basis, but prepares its statements on the accrual basis. The Governmental Fund Type–School Construction Fund prepares its budget on the modified accrual basis, but does not account for revenues from state committed funds for projects that have not begun. Budgetary control is exercised at the department level. Budgets presented in the financial statements reflect all amendments.