Funding Our Schools
State law requires that each Pennsylvania school district prepare an annual budget. The general fund budget has two equally important parts:
- One is a spending plan for the programs and services designed to achieve the district's educational goals and objectives.
- The other is the financing plan to meet the district's expected costs for these programs and services. The financing plan outlines the financial resources needed by the district, including the taxes that must be levied.
Many households and businesses also develop budgets. However, a school budget differs in that it is a legal document which sets limits on how much a district can spend for various purposes throughout the year and which provides for other financial controls and accountability.
Erie's Public Schools believes these controls and accountability are fundamentally important because school districts use public funds. Action taken in obtaining and spending these funds are part of the public trust given by citizens to their elected officials, the School Board.
A school district cannot approve a deficit budget (if planned spending will exceed the expected amount of funds available), and districts cannot spend any funds without an approved budget.
The district's general fund budget relates the educational programs and services to the district's financial resources; provides for standards on which to evaluate various programs and services; maintains responsibility for stewardship of the public's money; provides for leadership and control; places current expenditures and revenues within the historical framework; and facilitates decision-making.
Numerous people affect the budget process. These include state and federal elected officials and agencies, the School Board and administrators, community advisory groups, partners, staff input, community/taxpayer input and our most immediate stakeholders: our students, parents and teachers.