Shelby County Board of Education
Return to Index


Issued Date: 08/26/10
Revised: 10/30/12



To develop a financial plan for the District that describes the programs and services to be offered during the fiscal year that are aligned with the Shelby County Board of Education's (the “Board”) established district vision, goals, and priorities for the District.


This policy applies to the annual operating budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1 and ending June 30 the following year.


The Board shall adopt a budget and appropriate funds for each fiscal year prior to the beginning of that fiscal year. In accordance with state law1 and regulations and Board policy2, the Superintendent and Chairman of the Board of Education shall submit a budget to the State. The budget proposal should be:

- Balanced;

- Based upon conservative revenue estimates;

- Directed at the Board's results/ends and operational goals and priorities;

- Based upon clearly revealed assumptions consistent with Board policy and contract conditions and include provisions for:

ο programs to meet the needs of the entire student body
ο staffing arrangements adequate for proposed programs
ο maintenance of the system's equipment and facilities ο efficiency and economy; and

- Presented in a clearly understandable format.

The District's budget is the legal basis for the establishment of funding. It is the legal document which describes the programs to be conducted during a given period of time. It is the operational plan, stated in financial terms, for the conduct of all programs in the District. The annual budget process is an important function of the District's operations and should serve as a means to improve communications within the organization and with the residents of the community.

Public school budgeting for the school district is regulated and controlled by legislation, State Board of Education regulations, Shelby County Board of Commissioners, and local school Board requirements.

The Board further recognizes that the budget provides the framework for both expenditures and revenues for the year and translates into financial terms the educational programs and priorities for the system. The approval of the annual budget by the Board provides authorization to the Superintendent and the administrative staff to expend any or all of the amounts appropriated to the limit of each separate fund for the specific budget year.

Budget Development and Adoption Process

Board Priorities
In order to guide the Superintendent and staff's budget preparation work, by no later than the October Regular Board Meeting, the Board, in conjunction with the Superintendent, shall do the following:

  1. Conduct a Board Priorities Workshop to establish the District's priorities for the upcoming fiscal year. The priorities should be driven by on-going review of District programs and operations through assessment workshops and based on the goals of the District as evidenced by a long-term strategic plan and/or the District's core beliefs and commitments. The priorities should be well-defined to meet expressly stated values of the District;

  2. Rank and assign a numerical ranking to each District priority prior to its approval;

  3. Prior to the Board Priorities Workshop, the Board may solicit community (i.e. students, parents, teachers, principals, staff, external organizations, etc.) input on the District's priorities by any method deemed appropriate, including but not limited to community meetings, on-line surveys, etc.; and

  4. Approve the District's priorities at a Regular Business or Special Called meeting.

The approved District priorities serve as a clear statement of the Board's priorities for the budget, allowing staff to develop the budget in accordance with this policy, which incorporates and shows evidence of how the budget accomplishes the Board's priorities.

Budget Officer
The Superintendent is designated as the budget officer to oversee the daily administration of the system's budget. The budget shall set forth in itemized form the amount necessary to operate the District for the fiscal year. Line item transfers between major budget categories (i.e., instructional, operational, and other service accounts) shall be made upon the recommendation of the Superintendent and approval by the Board.

The Superintendent or designee shall establish an annual budget development process and calendar. In order to provide guidance in the development of the budget, the Board shall annually establish District priorities based on identified District needs and goals and on realistic projections of avaible funds.

The Superintendent or designee shall oversee the preparation of the District's proposed budget for approval by the Board and shall involve appropriate staff at all levels in the development of budget projections.

Budget Content
The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that the District's proposed budget is clearly presented and effectively communicated to the Board, staff, and public. She/he may modify or supplement the format prescribed as necessary for these purposes.

The Superintendent or designee shall, at a minimum, ensure that the District's proposed budget shows a complete plan and itemized statement of all proposed expenditures and all estimated revenues for the following fiscal year, together with a comparison of revenues and expenditures for the current fiscal year. The budget shall also include the appropriations limit and the total annual appropriations.

Budget Format
The Superintendent shall utilize a budget format consistent with nationally recognized standards (i.e., ASBO, GFOA, etc.).

Public Input
The Board encourages public input in the budget development process in accordance with this policy (see above Section Board Priorities # 3). Additionally, the Board shall provide an opportunity or opportunities for public input on the proposed budget through any method deemed appropriate by the Board (i.e., community meetings, public hearings, teleconference, on-line survey, etc.).

Budget Approval, Amendments and Continuation

Budget Approval and Amendments
The Board is responsible for adopting a budget and submitting the approved budget to the Shelby County Board of Commissioners for approval in accordance with applicable local and state law. Any subsequent amendment that increases the overall total adopted budget shall also require the Board's approval and submission to the Shelby County Board of Commissioners for approval.

Continuation Budget
In the event the Board does not adopt a budget for operation by July 1, the Board must approve a continuation budget by resolution and the District budget for the year just ended shall continue in effect until a new District budget has been adopted. A continuation budget is not valid beyond October 1 of the current fiscal year for purposes of the District's eligibility to receive State Basic Education Program (BEP) funds.


  1. The Superintendent is responsible for developing an annual budget, submitting it to the Board for adoption, and managing the budget after adoption. The Superintendent is also responsible for submitting the District budget to the Shelby County Board of Commissioners.

  2. The Board is responsible for annually establishing the District's priorities, adopting/approving a budget for the operation of the District, including any amendments, and approving a continuation budget when necessary.

  3. The Superintendent and Chairman of the Board are responsible for filing a copy of the budget with the Commissioner of Education within the time limits mandated by the State.

  4. The Superintendent or designee is responsible for coordinating public input.

Legal References:

1. TCA 49-2-203

2. TCA 49-2-301(b)(Z); TRR/MS 0520-1-2-/13(2)(a)

3. Tennessee Internal School Uniform Accounting Policy Manual; Section 4-19

4. TCA 49-3-316(d)


The District's budget is the financial plan for the operation of the school system and will be developed in accordance with the procedure listed below.

The Superintendent, consistent with Board policy, will determine the manner in which the annual budget is to be compiled consistent with the Board's established vision, goals, and District priorities and issue instructions to the staff. She/he will also establish a time schedule for the preparation of the budget to be known as the "budget calendar."

Planning and Compilation: The Superintendent and cabinet members will involve appropriate staff members in the budget planning process. Budget planning will be related to the Board's identified priorities to support the District's goals, objectives, and programs. It should include an assessment of existing programs and an examination of alternative program possibilities.

Requests: Based upon the Board's established District priorities, estimates of the appropriations needed to finance the educational programs will be made. These budgetary estimates will then be summarized, supported, and recommended to the Board.

District Priorities: An integral part of the budget preparation procedure will be that of projecting revenues. If the program needs or requests are in excess of the funds available, priorities must be determined by the Board and Superintendent.

Presentation and Publication to the Board: The proposed budget must be submitted to the Board along with a statement describing the major objectives of the educational program to be undertaken by the District during the fiscal year.

Public Input: The Board will provide an opportunity or opportunities for public input on the proposed budget through any method deemed appropriate by the Board (i.e. public hearings, community meetings, on-line surveys, etc.) to elicit from the citizenry constructive suggestions for improving the proposed budget or hear any objections to the proposed budget prior to its final adoption. The time, date, location and/or type of public input shall be included in the budget calendar.

Responsibility for Administering: The budget will be managed by the Superintendent.

Methods and Procedures: The Superintendent will be guided in the responsibility of budget management by the limitations as established by state law, budgetary restrictions, and applicable Board policies.