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ERIC Number: EJ914003
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jan
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0036-6439
Budgeting Based on Results
Cooper, Kelt L.
School Administrator, v68 n1 p18-21 Jan 2011
Every program in a school or school district has, or once had, a purpose. The purpose was most likely promoted, argued and debated among school constituencies--parents, teachers, administrators and school board members--before it was eventually approved. This process occurs year after year, budget after budget. In itself, this is not necessarily a negative development--unless the programs fail to produce the returns that are promised. One major problem in developing school district budgets immune to cuts is the model administrators traditionally use--an expenditure model. The simplicity of this model is seductive enough: What were the revenues and expenditures last year? What are the expected revenues and expenditures this year? A few adjustments here and there and one has a budget. Unfortunately, in-depth analysis of program quality is addressed in this method only when expenditures exceed revenues, leading to budget reductions. An alternative method that truly addresses budget development and program effectiveness employs the basic principles of the return-on-investment model and zero-based budgeting. The advantages of this approach are manifold. Shifting from a strict expenditure model to one that employs the basic principles of return on investment and zero-based budgeting is not easy. It takes time and requires considerable effort to establish predicted returns, a means to empirically assess returns and a new philosophy that more is not necessarily better. In this article, the author discusses the steps involved in using a return-on-investment model.
American Association of School Administrators. 801 North Quincy Street Suite 700, Arlington, VA 22203-1730. Tel: 703-528-0700; Fax: 703-841-1543; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A