Tuesday, July 18, 2017

$777 million FY18 General Fund Budget Unanimously Adopted

Resource stewardship is a key component of Atlanta Public Schools. The budget cannot be measured solely in terms of dollars and cents. It must also be evaluated based on how well budget driven resource allocation enables students, teachers and administrators to meet strategic goals and objectives. By this standard, the budget is not a separate process weighed in fiscal and operational terms.

Instead, it is a part of the larger process to provide a world-class education to all students.

The FY2018 General Fund Budget will not only outline the APS revenue and expenditure plan for school year 2017-2018, but also, continues to position the District for a new direction. This new direction seeks to increase instructional quality and efficiency to assure successful achievement of the District’s vision and mission statements.

As the District implements a charter system operating model, we have adopted a multi-year budget strategy that features the following:

  • Evaluating all funding requests for alignment to the District’s mission and vision
  • Identifying the resources required to support enrollment trends and to implement strategic priorities, initiatives and budget parameters
  • Reducing general administration and central administration costs to redirect resources to schools and to support strategic priorities.
  • Leveraging all new revenue options
  • Providing flexibility and autonomy at he school level for principals to develop staffing plans and invest resources in alignment with the District’s academic standards of service

Due to numerous budget parameters and an increase in mandatory costs, we anticipate the budget to continue to grow. We will continue to resource our strategic priorities, including the Turnaround Strategy, Signature Programs and School Flexibility while and a focusing on operational efficiency to assure successful achievement of the District’s vision and mission.

With this budget, we continue to focus additional funds to our schools. We have identified methods to cut our costs, including about $8 million in reductions from our Central Office budgets. Because of these cuts we are able to realize even more investments in our district strategic priorities and mission.

This includes:

  • $35.8 million in our long-term, over-arching Turnaround Strategy to improve our lowest-performing schools. This includes supplemental and critical support and partnerships with educational organizations with expertise in turnaround strategies.
  • Approximately $11.3 million in flex, base flex, and Cluster for school-based flexible spending dollars that allows our principals to address the unique needs of their specific population and strategy. Principals will have even more flexibility and autonomy as APS participates in a pilot program called Fund 150 that allows the combination of federal Title I dollars with their general fund school allotments.
  • $10.5 million (a $3.5 million increase over this year’s budget) for signature programming such as STEM, Strong Students I Strong Schools I Strong Staff I Strong System Page 13 International Baccalaureate, and College and Career Prep.
  • $6.2 million district funding for whole-child development programs and initiatives like athletics, arts and social emotional learning and school based investments.
  • $580,000 for our new Family Engagement Strategy 

Friday, July 29, 2016

Whiteboarding the FY 2017 Budget

FY 2017 Budget Highlights

  • Turnaround Strategy  - $23.6M
  • Charter System Operating Model - $18.5M
  • Pay Parity - $15.2M
  • Safety & Security - $10.6M
  • Textbook/Resource Adoption - $5.4M
  • CRCT Remediation - $4M
  • Early Childhood Education - $1M

Budget Parameters

  1. Allocation decisions will be made to prioritize achieving a more equitable distribution of resources pursuant the district’s equity audit. 
  2. The district will allocate resources to implement effectively the system’s move to a “charter system” operating model. (Includes Flex and Cluster Funds) 
  3. The district will fund pension obligations in accordance with State statute and actuarial standards.
  4. The district will invest in a multi-year school turn-around strategy that provides additional support and interventions for schools at risk of state take-over. 
  5. The district will make investments in early childhood education based on findings from research study.
  6. Ongoing implementation of district’s CRCT remediation & enrichment efforts 
  7. Improvement in student achievement in math, science, and literacy, including a comprehensive materials of instruction strategy (inclusive of textbook adoption and online student and teacher resources)
  8. Ongoing implementation of signature programming across clusters 
  9. Ongoing implementation of positive behavior supports programming 
  10. Strategies to recruit, professionally develop, and retain high-quality staff
  11. Continued implementation of multi-year compensation study recommendations to address pay parity (Step and 3% COLA)
  12. The safety, security, and well-being of students and staff (including the implementation of a new safety/security model)
  13. Preventative maintenance of support infrastructure (including buildings, buses, and technology) (total need is $394.4 million)
  14. Continued implementation of cultural transformation strategy, including strengths-based programming
  15. Implementation of District’s external communications strategy