Budgeting and Forecasting

School Budgeting Best Practices

Course Overview


School Budgeting Best Practices




Past experience working for a school district and familiarity with budget process either from finance or academic/instructional perspective.

Field of Study



Planning and Budgeting


Offered Both as Group-Live Class and E-Learning Opportunity


12 (Group-Live) / 9 (E-Learning)

This seminar will provide participants with an opportunity to acquire hands-on, practical implementation of GFOA’s best practices in school budgeting. The program is structured around the new best practices in school budgeting, which include guidelines to develop a comprehensive budget process that fosters collaboration between academic and finance staff to develop strategic goals and allocate scarce resources accordingly. The end goal of the new budget process focuses on aligning these scarce resources to focus on optimizing student achievement. In addition to the best practices, tools from GFOA’s Smarter School Spending initiative will be highlighted and used as examples for participants to better understand and apply to their own budgets.

Learning Objectives

Those who successfully complete this seminar should be able to:

  • Develop principles and policies to guide the budget process
  • Learn how to develop SMARTER goals
  • Develop root cause analysis to identify gap between current and desired performance
  • Evaluate programs to determine their academic and financial impacts
  • Develop a strategic financial plan
  • Develop a budget document that clearly lays out the organization’s challenges and plans to address the challenges
  • Learn how to incorporate continuous improvement practices into the new budget process
  • Improve collaboration between academic and finance teams for better allocations and outcomes

Schedule and Sample Agenda




Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Group Live

Coming Soon

12 CPE

8 Hours

4 Hours


Coming Soon


2.5 Hours

2.5 Hours

2.5 Hours

Course Instructors

This course is taught by GFOA staff from the Research and Consulting Center and features case study presentations from GFOA's Alliance for Excellence in School Budgeting.