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This paper examines the effects of site-based budgeting in education. It describes and presents a school-based budgetary decision-making model that was designed originally to shift the balance of power from the central office to the building level. The model has been refined and successfully utilized in one school district for 20 years, and its use was credited with bringing control and decision-making closer to the child and classroom, thus making the individual schools within the district more responsive to the children's and the community's needs. The report offers suggestions for practitioners and policymakers who might be considering the reallocation of power and resources to the local schools. It explores the history of central-office budgetary control in the district and outlines how the reallocation of authority required the development of trust within the district. The reorganization also established decision-making parameters, allowed sufficient time for the school community to implement the plan, instituted an on-going staff-development program, provided technical support, and maintained accountability. The paper makes some suggestions for establishing a decentralization model, which include: plan carefully, expect resistance, be prepared to deal with negative staff members, establish clear lines of communication with administrators, and establish realistic expectations. (Contains 11 references.) (RJM)

Descriptors: Budgeting, Decentralization, Educational Finance, Elementary Secondary Education, Finance Reform, Organizational Change, School Accounting, School Based Management, School Restructuring

Autor: Ilg, Timothy J.; Raisch, C. Daniel


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