Smarter School Spending - Set Instructional Priorities

The budget needs to be rooted in the priorities of the district. Intentionally created instructional priorities provide a strong basis for developing a district’s budget and strategic financial plan, as well as presenting a budget document.


  • Develop goals
  • Identify root cause of gap between goal and current state
  • Research & develop potential instructional priorities
  • Evaluate choices amongst instructional priorities

Establish a Partnership between the Finance and Instructional Leaders

A collaborative process increases the likelihood that the decisions made will be supported after the budget process is over.

  • Set expectations for the budget process and analyze the district's current state
  • Effectively communicate the process and corresponding decisions to stakeholders


  • Level 1: Superintendent, chief academic officer, and chief financial officer agree to pursue Smarter School Spending (SSS) and commit to regularly review progress at cabinet meetings.
  • Level 2: Develop a formal governance structure to guide the district as it pursues progress on the SSS framework.
  • Level 3: Develop criteria to define what constitutes a successful budget process.

Your Quick Wins

  • Quick Win: Discuss and agree between academic, financial officers with superintendent why pursuing the Best Practices is a good idea. Examine roadmap and identify what district wants to accomplish on the roadmap.
  • Why important? Established communication channel, documents/formalizes why Best Practices are being pursue.