School District of Fort Atkinson Works with Entire District Leadership Team on Smarter School Spending Framework

Monday, January 23, 2017

The School District of Fort Atkinson in Wisconsin recently invited GFOA staff to present to the district’s senior leadership team the Best Practices in School Budgeting, a framework for an improved budget process. Fort Atkinson is part of the GFOA’s Alliance for Excellence in School Budgeting, an early adopter group of over 70 districts from across the US improving their budget processes. The Best Practices advocate for improved collaboration between finance and academic leaders and the advancement of student outcomes through more effective use of resources.

GFOA staff facilitated the day-long session which included the district’s superintendent, directors from business services, instruction, special education, human resources, IT, and several other areas, and all of the district’s principals. The session focused on a comprehensive overview of the framework and also a more intensive discussion of cost-effectiveness concepts – including academic return on investment. As a next step, Fort Atkinson is using this discussion to help develop district-wide budget principles that will set baseline expectations for its budget process centered on the district’s core values.

Click here to read more about the session with Fort Atkinson.

And also - click here to listen to an interview with Jason Demerath, Fort Atkinson’s Director of Business Services on the district’s work with the Best Practices:

You can learn more about the Best Practices budget framework Fort Atkinson is implementing from the following on-line resources:
•    GFOA’s K12 Budget Resource Center
•    Smarter School Spending

GFOA has several upcoming events for hands-on, in-person sessions led by GFOA staff and other districts involved in implementing the framework, including:
•    School Budgeting Best Practices on March 9-10 in Chicago - a two day training on the full framework presented in the best practices in school budgeting
•    Alliance for Excellence in School Budgeting on May 19 in Denver - a preconference session to GFOA’s annual conference featuring leaders in education finance and districts implementing the Best Practices in School Budgeting framework