Atlanta Public Schools FY 2013 Budget

My first project is an extensive analysis of the Atlanta Public School system FY 2013 Budget. Detailed analysis to follow. But first, while I do not believe the objectives and policy goals of the budgeting process have been released to the general public, I would assume that the Superintendent has provided broad objectives to drive the budgeting process. My assumption is that they would include at least the following:

  1.  Key objectives regarding student learning and advancement.
  2. A clear statement regarding the objective for creating new Charter Schools over the next 5 years (by year).
  3. A mandate that the administration functions are in place to support the key functional objectives of the Instruction Division first, the Operational Division second and then the other appropriate constituencies.
  4. A mandate that the administration look for ways to improve the cost efficiency of each of the services they provide.
  5. A clear recognition that student enrollment is falling and that the cost of administration and operations must decrease consistent with this decline.
  6. Any initiative started in the last three years will be critically reviewed as to its performance and outcomes. Any such initiative found to not be meeting its targeted goals will be eliminated or consolidated into other programs.
  7. Any new initiative for the upcoming year must provide clear and substantive goals and objectives, including measureable student advancement or cost savings (or both) and must include timelines for meeting objectives and assessing progress.
  8. An aggressive effort will be made to find any duplication of activities (which will be consolidated) and to find non-critical paperwork that will be eliminated.
  9. Every incremental function that does not specifically and directly support the Instruction and Operations Divisions must be critically assessed regarding their effectiveness and reason for continuation.
  10. The cost of employee benefits will be brought in line to a level that is consistent with the Atlanta community which we serve and these benefits will be fully funded each year. Further, the risk of “underfunding” these benefits shall be eliminated from future years.
  11. Taxes will not be increased in this difficult economic environment – period.

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