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ERIC Number: EJ914693
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jan
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0036-651X
Tuning the Tin Ear: In Search of Fiscal Congruency
Dragona, Anthony N.
School Business Affairs, v77 n1 p23-26 Jan 2011
For 70 years, the Union City School District used a line-item budget system, a top down approach that was regarded by many as "deaf, dumb, and blind." This antiquated central administration process gave school leaders and staff little, if any, input into the distribution of resources for their schools, resulting in a redundancy of allocations, regardless of efficacy. Putting an end to the days of throwing good money after poor results, the "Abbott v. Burke" decision finally gave the Union City School District an opportunity to adopt a school-based budget model and tune its tin ear when it came to budgeting, buy-in, and accountability. Emerging out of an effort to provide whole school reform, the school-based budget model exemplifies the concept of educating the whole child by getting all hands on deck, making key stakeholders of the people most directly involved in affecting positive outcomes among the students. It may seem deceptively simple, but achieving fiscal congruency--ensuring that allocated funds not only align with school's objectives but that they are used in an effective and efficient manner--eluded the district for over seven decades. With 16 schools employing the school-based budgetary model, and all slated to continue doing so, the Union City School District looks forward to many more years--and decades--of zeal for education and improved outcomes.
Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO). 11401 North Shore Drive, Reston, VA 20190. Tel: 866-682-2729; Fax: 703-478-0205; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A