Family-Friendly Guide to AUSD's Budget
In the fall of 2023, AUSD's Business Services team decided to develop a family-friendly summary of AUSD's 2023-24 budget.
This decision was made for two reasons:
First, we want to help our education partners generally understand how school districts create and follow budgets. Typical school district budgets in California are comprised of thousands of lines of expenditure programs and dozens of revenue sources. They are built in consultation with every school administrator and every department lead in the district. The resulting budgets take 8 months to develop and can be difficult for community members to read and understand.
These budgets, however, also provide a blueprint of a school district's values, priorities, goals, and decisions. As such, having even a basic understanding of how California school district budgets are created - and the very considerable constraints on those budgets - is key to understanding how and why district leaders make decisions about hiring, programs, facilities, supplies, and myriad other expenses for which districts are responsible.
Second, we want to help our education partners specifically understand the 2023-24 budget, because it reflects not only the new focal areas of our Strategic Plan, but also the challenges and choices currently confronting AUSD.
Our hope is that by understanding how AUSD builds its budget, community members will better understand how and why district leaders make the choices they do - as well as how to get involved in those decisions. Our plan is going forward is to update the summary each year so that our community has the most up-to-date information available on AUSD's revenues, expenditures, and priorities.