We believe we must support at risk students financially beyond what categorical funding provides.
We value a differentiated funding model in PK, elementary, middle, high, and alternative schools that provides more resources to the lower grade levels and alternative schools.
We believe schools that serve a high percentage of at-risk students require a higher concentration of support.
We value consistency and predictability in our FTE allocation formulas.
Budget Guiding Principles
Budgeting principles are created to provide guidelines to follow during the budget process. They provide a frame-work for decision makers to adhere to as they develop the budget. Principles are important for creating a shared understanding of the overarching mission of the District and the related resources to achieve that mission.
Providing Students with an Educational Experience that Produces Global-Ready Graduates Should Drive the Budget Process
The District Unified Improvement Plan guides how resources are allocated, how progress is tracked, and how budget decisions are made to prioritize programs, strategies and student supports.
Decisions Should Be Driven By Data
Programs/activities are selected based on qualitative and quantitative data on student outcomes, both in terms of academic success and students’ whole educational experience. Data includes input from relevant stakeholders. Programs or key activities identified to achieve the district’s desired goals are prioritized for funding.
Base Resourcing Decisions on Cost-Effectiveness
The budget process seeks to allocate available dollars optimally, in a way that will create the most benefit for students given the costs. Prioritize programs and key activities with proven cost-effectiveness. Strategies and programs that have proven to produce high academic growth in student learning, relative to their cost, will be given priority for funding. Programs that are chosen will be implemented fully and faithfully even if that means fewer programs. Short term and long term costs will be considered.
Prioritize Resource Allocation to Students, Teachers and Classrooms.
In all schools, allocate resources as close as possible to students. Ensure there are sufficient resources, materials and people, including core instruction and ongoing, comprehensive, and systemic professional development, as well as school-based instructional support for teachers and students. Taking into consideration the operational support for students including transportation, food service and maintenance.
Furthermore, the district must provide resources for the most impactful supplementary strategies and interventions for students who are struggling to meet academic goals. This includes resources for all students, but most importantly additional resources provided by federal and state compensatory education programs, and for subgroups including students with special needs, English Language Learners and other historically underserved populations.
Critically Re-Examine Patterns of Spending
Past patterns of spending may no longer be relevant given changing needs of the community and student body. Hence, the budget process will encourage review of past spending decisions and critically change, where necessary. The district will develop and adhere to a program review and sunset process to identify and discontinue programs that are not achieving their objectives or that are simply not as effective as available alternatives.
Provide Every Student with Equitable Access, Opportunity, and Outcomes
Eagle County Schools allocates resources to create inclusive and respectful environments to promote equity in access, opportunity, and outcomes for all students regardless of race, sex, economic status, gender identity, sexual orientation, language background, and exceptional needs. Educational equity means raising the achievement of all students while (1) narrowing the gaps between the lowest and highest performing students and (2) eliminating the racial predictability and disproportionality of which student groups occupy the highest and lowest achievement categories.
The concept of educational equity goes beyond formal equality – where all students are treated the same – to fostering a barrier-free environment where all students have the opportunity to benefit equally. Educational equity benefits all students, and our entire community. All students shall graduate from ECS ready to succeed in a diverse local, national and global community. To achieve educational equity, ECS will provide additional and differentiated resources to support the success of all students.
Take a Strategic Perspective
A consistent application of proven strategies over a multi-year period will deliver more valid results than a single year. Therefore, to the degree possible, the district will develop and adhere to a multi-year funding and review plan for its strategies, with the goal of fully funding and re-aligning resources, curriculum, and programs where and when necessary to fund high priority elements of the strategies.
Effective budgeting requires valid information about the true costs of serving students and the outcomes produced for students.
- Make current, valid and reliable data on defined fiscal and academic outcomes readily available.
- Consider all direct and indirect expenditures in evaluating the cost of educating students.
- Use a comprehensive budget that considers all available funds and acknowledges constraints on restricted funds.
- Be clear on what activities are being funded and how they help the district reach its goals—not just line items and broad expenditure categories.
- Ensure that the budget is transparent and accessible to the community it serves.
- Follow budget principles and communicate processes and decisions to all stakeholders.