District gears up for budget discussions

By: April Lehmbeck | Grosse Pointe Times | Published January 2, 2013

GROSSE POINTES — With months before the state requires approval of a budget, the Grosse Pointe School Board wasn’t wasting time getting the discussion started at the Dec. 17 meeting.

Many school boards don’t hear the first mentions of the next year’s budget issues until spring, but Grosse Pointe has a policy that keeps them on target with a process that begins much earlier.

Districts must have a budget approved by the end of June, per state law. Grosse Pointe discussed policy 6220, which they approved six years prior, and which concerns the budget-development process.

“There have been times in the past where we’ve consumed significant amount of administrative and board cycles by not having a better dialog at the outset of the process,” Treasurer Brendan Walsh said.

The board will adopt a Budget Development Parameters Resolution at the January board meeting. That resolution “articulates the preference of the board in advance of budget development to avoid ambiguity and to allow the community to have a clear view of the budget-development process from its inception,” Walsh stated in a memo.

The board should receive a completed budget by the end of April so that changes can be proposed in order for the budget to be ready for adoption prior to the state deadline in June, Walsh said.

During discussion on the budget parameters issue, Trustee Tom Jakubiec had a request for something he wants to see included in the process.

“I would like to emphasize my desire to see the technology plan for the next two school years,” he said. “I’d like to get a feel for the thought process that the administration is bringing forward in that area.”