Seattle Public Schools

0060 Financial Planning and Budgeting

Financial planning or budgeting for any fiscal year, or part thereof, shall be derived from a minimum four-year plan in full compliance with state law and shall not risk fiscal jeopardy or deviate materially from the Board’s goals and resulting District strategic plan.

Without limiting the above, for any financial plan or budget, the Superintendent shall adhere to the following constraints.

Budget Preparation 

The Superintendent shall not cause or allow Seattle Public Schools to:

  1. Omit: credible projections of revenues and expenses, separation of capital and operational items, cash flow and significant balance sheet items, or disclosure of planning assumptions and analysis.
  2. Fail to compare, for each major fund type and activity, the actual expenditures for the most recently closed fiscal year, budgeted expenditures for the current fiscal year, and proposed budget expenditures for the next fiscal year.
  3. Fail to provide adequate and reasonable budget support for Board development and other governance priorities, including the costs of fiscal audits, Board and committee meetings, and Board memberships and activities as delineated in the Board’s annual plans.
  4. In years in which an operating deficit or surplus is projected, omit categorical and programmatic location and type of budget reductions or enhancements and their maintenance of Board’s goals and resulting District strategic plan.
  5. In years in which a significant operating deficit or surplus is projected, fail to present a Reduced or Increased Educational Program Resolution for Board approval.
  6. Maintain or agree to school funding models that (a) fail to utilize data proven formulas centered on meeting student need, (b) are not flexible enough to ensure alignment with established goals related to ensuring student outcomes, and (c) are inconsistent with the Board’s policies and statement of values including the Board’s goals and resulting District strategic plan.
  7. Fail to delineate, manage to, and communicate a clear timeline regarding the budgeting process.
  8. Propose to retain static student assignment plans, school boundaries and transportation standards, if modifications will create or maintain efficacy in association with the proposed budget and aligned with high standards of service.
  9. Fail to disclose any legally allowed budget options which mitigate financial risk and/or promise substantive fiscal improvement in the District’s ability to serve students.
  10. Fail to engage in long-range planning to ensure fiscal capacity and equitable compensation structures for all SPS employees.
  11. Allow building or other leaders to solicit or accept funding in support of building, departmental or District budget if that funding is not (a) sustainable or (b) for one-time needs, and (c) clearly shown as matched by the District through a balancing mechanism consistent with the Board’s goals and resulting District strategic plan.
  12. Fail to delineate in budget the fiscal mechanisms and data the District uses to ensure Associated Student Bodies (ASBs), ASB Executive Committees, Boosters, Parent Teacher Associations / Parent Teacher Student Associations (PTAs/PTSAs), Parent Teacher Organizations (PTOs), funders, and building leaders are supported with pathways and processes that ensure equitable access, within and among buildings, to any and all curricular, extracurricular, athletic, social, equipment, materials, and opportunities generated through the use of Seattle Public Schools resources, with the express goal of equalizing access while retaining relationships with diverse contributors.

Adoption and Review of this Policy

This policy was adopted for inclusion in the Board’s Governance Policy Manual as a Guardrails policy with annual review by the Board in June.

This policy is being numbered as 0060 pending potential future reorganization of the policy manual.