Budget Glossary

  • Budget: A plan of financial operation outlining the estimates of proposed expenditures for a fiscal year and the proposed means of financing them.

    Proposed Budget: Also called Administrative Proposal. Spending plan developed by school administrators prior to Board adoption. School Districts are required by New York State to show their proposed budgets in three categories: administrative, program, and capital.

    Administrative Budget Component: One of three categories that must be reported by school districts. These expenditures include: office and administrative costs; salaries and benefits for certified school administrators who spend 50% or more of their time performing supervisory duties; data processing; supplies; legal fees; property insurance; and school board expenses.

    Program Budget Component: One of the categories that must be presented in the district’s proposed budget. This portion includes: salaries and benefits of teachers and supervisors who spend the majority of their time teaching; instructional costs such as supplies, equipment, and textbooks; and transportation operating costs.

    Capital Budget Component: One of the three categories that school districts must show in their proposed budgets. This covers: all transportation capital, debt service, and lease expenditures; legal judgments and settled claims; custodial costs and all facility costs, including service contracts, supplies, utilities, maintenance, repairs, construction, renovation, debt and leasing costs.

    Revenue: Sources of income financing the operation of the school district.

    State Aid: Additional money that the state gives to districts, to be used in different areas. Until the state passes its budget, the district does not know exactly how much to expect in state aid, but school districts are still required to present their budgets to voters on the third Tuesday in May. To meet that mandate, the district must estimate its state aid revenues.

    Tax Levy: Total sum to be raised by the school district after subtracting out all other revenues including state aid. The tax levy is used to determine the tax rate for property owners in each of the towns or villages that make up the school district.

    Unappropriated Fund Balance: A school district is permitted to keep up to 4% of its fund balance in an unappropriated fund. This money may be used to pay for emergency repairs and other unforeseen occurrences.