Ways for Explicating the Budgeting Process in Miami-Dade Schools

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Grim and Getting Grimmer This paper examines the ways in which a single school within the Miami-Dade School District as a way of explicating the budgeting process, a process that has both formal and informal aspects to it and depends as much on personal power and influence as it does on official regulation. Such an examination is important for several reasons, the most significant of which is that everything that affects the quality of education must be open to strict scrutiny. Such scrutiny is especially important given the perilous state of school financing (as well as other public financing) during the current recession. To be reductionist, there are two different types of school budgets. When economic times are good and there is enough money to provide funding for all of the important services that government can provide for its people, the school district has a relatively large say in how the budgeting process works. This is the case because elected and appointed officials recognize that school officials are the experts (or at least should be) in the field of education and they should therefore have the lead in determining needs and priorities because they have the knowledge needed to design the best educational programs for different grades. However, when financial times are especially lean, as they have been for the last several years, the school district budget reflects larger social priorities as money is continually siphoned off to other departments and

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