The district’s budget development process begins each December with the release of the Governor’s budget proposal, which provides a starting point for budget deliberations at the state level. The releases of the Senate and House budgets follow, and then the legislature works toward producing a consensus budget. The superintendent and chief fiscal officer assess the potential impacts of each version of the state’s budget and present that information to the board of directors.

Concurrently, the superintendent’s cabinet members collaborate with department managers to complete a zero-based budgeting exercise that identifies resources necessary for the next school year. They also submit needs-based budget requests for additional items that cannot be funded within their existing budget allocation. At this stage, input on budget needs and priorities is invited and received from school principals.

In the spring, after the legislature releases its consensus budget, the superintendent and chief fiscal officer present a set of preliminary budget recommendations to the board. The superintendent and chief fiscal officer then incorporate any changes from the board and prepare a final set of budget recommendations for board action. Throughout the entire process, budget updates are provided in the Inside VPS e-newsletter and on the district website. The board conducts a public hearing on the budget in August and then adopts the final budget.

Key point: District administrators work collaboratively with department and school leaders to create budget recommendations that are based on need and aligned with state and federal requirements.