Judging Process: Best Practices in School Budgeting

Applications will be reviewed by a GFOA staff member as well as a panel of volunteers (the “Judges”). Volunteer Judges will be drawn from one of the following four categories:

 Employees of a school district that have background and responsibilities relevant to school district budgeting and/or management of academics.

Private consultants who work with school districts on matters relevant to school district budgeting.

Academics who study school budgeting and finance.

Retirees from one of the preceding categories.

The judges will use a 3-point scale to rate each Award Criteria. The 3-point scale is as follows:

  • 3 – Exceptional. Is worthy of being an example to other Applicants.
  • 2 – Meets the criteria.
  • 1 – Does not meet criteria

Receiving a "3" for a given Award Criteria is the basis for receiving Special Recognition for Award Criteria, where available. Judges may adjust their scores based on clarifications received during the Applicant Interview.

Applicant Interview. The Judge(s) will schedule a time with the Applicant to review any questions the Judges may have about the Applicant’s Award Application. The Applicant Interview will take place over the phone and will typically last about an hour. The Judges will provide the Applicant with a list of general questions they plan to ask ahead of the call, although the Judges also may ask other questions as well.