Best Practices in Community College Budgeting - Drafts

Project Background

GFOA is working with practitioners, researchers, and other education finance experts to identify best practices in school and community college budgeting. These best practices aim to leverage the budget process to align resources to student outcomes. 

As part of this initiative, several PK-12 school districts and community colleges nationwide were selected as pilots to help develop and to test these best practices. The pilots are using the best practies to develop their 2014-2015 budgets. GFOA is incorporating these best practices in the award critiera for a new budget program specific for PK-12 school districts and community colleges. The inaugural Education Budgeting Award program is available for the 2015-2016 budget.

More information on the award program.

For additional information or questions on the project, please contact Shayne Kavanagh, Senior Research Manager.

Draft Best Practices

GFOA is working to refine and the best practices based on the experiences of the pilots in developing their 2014-2015 budgets as well as from public comment. GFOA encourages the public to review these draft best practices and ask questions and share feedback.

  1.  Prepare & Develop Inputs to the Budget Process
    1. Adopt/Re-Affirm budgeting principles and policies to guide the budget process
    2. Examine internal and external forces that impact the budget
  2. Define Goals & Identify Gaps
    1. Develop goals for the college and its sub-units
    2. Determine the gaps between the goals and current state, and identify the root causes of the gaps
  3. Develop Strategies to Achieve the Goals
    1. Research proven policies and practices
    2. Develop strategies
  4. Prioritize Spending to Enact the Strategies & Allocate Resources
    1. Prioritize spending to enact the strategies
    2. Allocate funds based on the results of the prioritization process
    3. Create a budget document that communicates how resources have been allocated to enact the strategies
  5. Check Performance
    1. Monitor and evaluate outcomes from budgeting decisions
  6. Enhanced Budgeting Practices
    1. Establish criteria and measures for success of the budget process
    2. Allocate costs of shared support services to sub-units to better understand the true cost of offering services