ERIC Number: EJ926276
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-May
Reference Count: N/A
Budgeting Based on Results: A Return-on-Investment Model Contributes to More Effective Annual Spending Choices
Cooper, Kelt L.
Education Digest: Essential Readings Condensed for Quick Review, v76 n9 p4-8 May 2011
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: 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. In this article the author emphasizes how program evaluation should be an integral part of the budget development process. Every program in a school or district should have a stated expected return and be measured empirically. Zero-based budgeting is much like annual sunsets for programs. Each year, every program should be justified on the basis of the returns. Budget decisions, based on the basic principles of return-on-investment (ROI), help determine program viability. Ultimately, school districts employing such a method will see substantial reduction in certain budget areas, greater emphasis on effective programs, and the simplification of all aspects of administering schools. In addition, they are far more likely to have a budget immune from cutbacks.
Descriptors: School Districts, Budgeting, Models, Expenditures, Program Evaluation, Outcomes of Education, Context Effect, Decision Making, Attitude Change, Resource Allocation, Evaluation Criteria, Program Effectiveness
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Arizona