As per our APS/ATF Negotiated Agreement: “It is the responsibility of the IC to work in collaboration with the staff to set priorities for discretionary funds or at risk in the school’s budget and in developing and overseeing the implementation of a budget that places resources where they will effectively support the school’s goals.”
All staff covered under the ATF Bargaining Unit should have been provided a copy of your site’s budget according to the 2022-2023 Negotiated Agreement. Budgets are wieldy documents, so we are providing a template to help your staff navigate the process. Many items/funds on site budgets are “fixed” and depending on enrollments, your site may gain or lose FTE positions. It’s critical that staff focus on funding positions, rather than people and this is difficult. Keep in mind that Title 1, Title 3, and Grant funding have many stipulations. At-risk and Bilingual columns are more flexible.
Last year APS and ATF agreed to support Instructional Councils with a standardized budget template to help you in working with school budgets. You can download the template here. Please share it widely among all staff.
Most sites have received preliminary budget documents and are starting conversations with Instructional Councils about priorities for 2023-2024. We hope that your staff has been engaged in rich discussions about how to best support your students for next year. The current year budget information was taken from each site’s “current year budget status reports” – this information is at your site level. Principals, secretaries, and bookkeepers know how to access it.
The tight turn-around time is always an issue, your budget decisions are due back to your Zone Associate Superintendent by March 15th. Complicating the short timeline, the NM Legislature hasn’t ended which may impact your initial decisions. Don’t worry, APS will adjust budgets as per the allocations to school districts after the session ends, for example, At-Risk funds will probably increase.
Please contact your APS HR Staff or ATF Staff Representative if you have questions.
Here’s the contract language regarding the Instructional Council’s role in the budgeting process.
|APS/ATF Negotiated Agreement 2022-23 (page 42)|
D. Instructional Councils: Connection to Budgeting
1. School budgets are open and public documents. School budgets and budget projections shall be distributed to all staff at each respective school each year prior to budget decisions being made.
a. School staffs will be provided standardized spreadsheets of school budgets that include descriptions of each funding source and the amount to be received from that source.
b. The spreadsheets will also delineate if the funding source is considered “discretionary” (for example: Title I, At Risk) or “operational.”
c. These budget sheets will be distributed to all school staff via APS email no later than the second Tuesday of April.
2. It is the responsibility of the IC to work in collaboration with the staff to set priorities for discretionary funds or at risk in the school’s budget and in developing and overseeing the implementation of a budget that places resources where they will effectively support the school’s goals.
3. When using discretionary money for a full or partial FTE, to ensure decisions are program-based, a change in the agreed use will result in holding funds until the current position is vacated. In the event of programmatic need to change or eliminate a full or partial FTE funded through discretionary money and the position has not been vacated, the school may request a contract waiver according to the process set forth in Appendix L: Process for Obtaining a Waiver.
4. Training in Budgeting may be requested of the District and the Federation for Instructional Councils.
5. School staffs must follow the rules and regulations associated with each funding source.