BUDGET DEADLINES AND SCHEDULES
Preparation of the annual budget will be scheduled in stages throughout the school year with attention to certain deadlines established by state law and town charter. The schedule for budget preparation ensures that a proper review can be conducted prior to the final adoption date: the annual town meeting, held on the second Thursday in June.
The budget process begins by reviewing the district strategic plan and school needs and determining priorities for programming consideration for the upcoming year. A discussion of budget goals and priorities is conducted at a regularly scheduled School Committee meeting in November.
The Superintendent, working with the administrative team, develops a staffing plan and estimates facility, instructional, and professional development needs to inform budget allocations. Plans and draft budget documents are shared and discussed with the School Committee at two or more budget workshops held in the months of January and February. At this time a joint meeting with the Town Council may also be held in order to share concerns and information regarding estimated revenues and anticipated needs.
The preliminary school budget is presented at a regularly scheduled School Committee meeting in late February and the School Committee votes to forward a preliminary budget to the Town Council for consideration. The school budget, as part of a larger town budget, is then presented and discussed at a regularly scheduled Town Council meeting in March. A public hearing of the town budget, held in May, provides an opportunity for the public to comment and the Town Council to consider changes prior to the Annual Financial Town Meeting, at which the town considers approval of the capital and operating budgets.
The process also is characterized by ongoing communication between school district and town offices and posting of preliminary budgets and presentation slides on the district website.
ADAPTED FROM MASC
ADOPTED: November 19, 2019