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The Principal's Guide to School Budgeting

The Principal's Guide to School Budgeting

Fourth Edition (Revised and Updated Edition)

May 2024 | 296 pages | Corwin

Align your school budget with your vision for student achievement

Since 2006, The Principal's Guide to School Budgeting has been a best-seller, supporting thousands of principals in navigating the complex process of school budgeting. This fourth edition hones in on the message that a school budget should be a reflection of the school’s vision for student growth, an open culture, and a positive school climate. This edition offers new information on how national and state reform and political practices affect school allocations and emphasizes the need for appropriate budget visioning, planning, analysis, and needs assessment. Covering the budgeting process, effective budgeting practices, accounting and auditing procedures, and building the school budget within a collaborative decision-making context, this comprehensive guide includes:

  • In-chapter vignettes and discussion questions
  • Case study applications and experiential exercises
  • A budget development project
  • New discussion of technology's impact on budgetary practices, phishing scams, and fundraising

The Principal's Guide to School Budgeting is an essential resource for practicing and aspiring school administrators who want to master their accounting and auditing procedures. By effectively managing the school budgeting process, principals can contribute to improved student achievement and strengthen connections with the school community.

Chapter 1: The Budget–Vision Relationship and the
Chapter 2: Culture, Data, Conflict Resolution, and Celebrating Success
Chapter 3: A Model for Integrating Vision, Planning, and Budgeting
Chapter 4: Understanding the Budgeting Process
Chapter 5: School Funding and Steps to Budgeting Success
Chapter 6: Effective, Efficient, and Essential Budgeting Practices
Chapter 7: Accounting, Auditing, Risk Factors, and Leadership Behaviors
Chapter 8: Site-Based Decision Making, The Budget Coding Structure
Chapter 9: Building the School Budget: Budgetary Applications and Specialized Forms and Procedures
Resource A. The Budget Development Project – A Hands-On Experiential Exercise
Resource B. Selected Forms
Resource C. Experiential Exercises
Resource D. Budgeting Checklist for School Administrators

Drs. Sorenson and Goldsmith have carefully updated their outstanding book to include the latest information in a lively, engaging format. Their illustrative stories and case studies help new leaders learn how to apply knowledge and skills to bring about improvements in schools so that all learners can succeed. I highly recommend this guide which all educational leaders will want to keep as a ready reference.

Michael Fanning, Instructor
Educational Leadership Program, California State University, East Bay Hayward, California

Perhaps the most powerful element of this edition is the humanistic approach to budgeting which addresses issues such as equity, cultural responsiveness, and diversity. As school demographics and needs change, school administrators must understand their stakeholder’s evolving fiscal requisites. It also addresses the current political climate and technologies that are now a permanent part of leading schools.

Angus S. Mungal, Assistant Professor
Department of Leadership and Counselor Education, School of Education, The University of Mississippi

I strongly recommend this excellent and comprehensive guide from the novice principal to the most experienced school leader. This text is vision and values driven. The authors use case studies to illustrate the importance of both the leader’s values as well as those of all the stakeholders, to create a school community marked by ethics, integrity, fairness, and equity. They are especially sensitive to issues in contemporary diverse communities.

Arturo Pacheco, Professor Emeritus
Educational Leadership and Foundations, Former Dean, College of Education, University of Texas at El Paso El Paso, Texas

The Principal's Guide to School Budgeting, 4th edition is an invaluable resource for campus principals and school leaders.  Building on established budgeting procedures, the authors move from theoretical principles into practical applications. The case studies are especially beneficial in assisting novice administrators in solving the everyday challenges of developing a school budget.  

Virginia L. Mosier, Retired Public School Administrator
Abilene, Texas

The Fourth Edition of the Principal's Guide to School Budgeting, offers busy principals discussions of the realities of budget constraints and cuts, thought-provoking discussion questions, rich case studies, checklists, the connection of school budgets to vision and planning, a message of accountability, and a discussion on school budget audits.

Louis Lim, Principal
Bur Oak Secondary School, Markham, Ontario, Canada

The school budget is where school leaders will likely struggle and spend the most time. This bible will be the school leader’s best friend. When the fiscal environment is shaky, this book will provide the necessary assurance regarding best practices. It includes great case studies, wisdom, and resources.

Ken Darvall, Principal
Tema International School, Ghana

This book serves as a desk top reference regarding the ins and outs of school budgets. It is a must read for school administrators and those working towards their administration degree. Each chapter offers a plethora of ideas, structures, and information about budgets for a school administrator.

Tanna Nicely, Executive Principal
Knox County Schools, Knoxville, Tennessee

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