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To prepare for the Budget Process, the Board Budget Development Committee is in the information gathering phase. Committee Chair, Audrey Cotherman explained the phased plan leading up to Budget development time, which usually gets underway in January. Currently the group is in Phase I, which includes gathering information about expenditures in travel, professional development, support for non-profit services to students, and professional services contracts. In Phase II, work will begin on the development, review, and revision of the Superintendent’s Conceptual Budget Plan. Preparation of the detail budget and the budget document happen in Phase III and finally adoption by the board in Phase IV.
September’s meeting gave the committee insight into processes for expenditure approval and professional development/travel approval.
Superintendent Hopkins and staff explained the process for expenditure approval. (ExpenseFlowChart091213) He noted that when a purchase is between $10,000-$25,000, three quotes are required and must be submitted to the business office prior to board approval. Anything that exceeds $25,000 goes to a formal bid process and submitted to the Board for approval.
Trustee Reid asked what the average turnaround was for vendor payments. Staff reported that checks are printed on a weekly basis with the average turnaround from submission to payment to be about 35 days.
Associate Superintendent Crystal Mueller reviewed the process for professional development and indicated that at the request of the Board to develop a system, an approval form requiring purpose, costs, approval was developed. (PDRequestFrom091213) Mueller said that on occasion, a PD request is denied at the District level because there are too many people from one site going to the same event or the costs are too high. She said that HR collects data indicating event location, which schools are participating in PD, and what kind of PD is being requested.
Trustee Keefe asked if it would be more economical if the trainers could be brought to Casper instead of sending a large group out of town/state. Hopkins indicated that as principals collaborate and curriculum alignment is completed, more training can be provided by bringing consultants into the district.
The next meeting of the Board Budget Development Committee is Oct. 10, 2013.