The newly enacted state budget includes language that requires NYC and districts with four or more schools that received greater than 50 percent of funding from state sources, to submit a plan on how state and local funds are projected to be spent at the school level. In 2019-20, school districts with more than four schools will be required to meet the above requirement and all remaining districts must report by 2020-21. Reports for the first wave of districts are due July 1, 2018. This new state mandate escalates the timeframe for building-level reporting. Similar reporting is required by ESSA, however, ESSA requires reporting of building-level expenditures at the end of the 2018-19 school year, while the new state mandate requires reporting anticipated building-level reporting by July 1, 2018.
The two new requirements summatively present new challenges for every district. Important discussions must take place on what type of data will be collected, how building-level expenses will be extracted from district-wide expenses, how gaps between buildings will be explained, how this can best be reported to the public, and how the data will be used by the state. These are just a few of the serious questions that districts will need to consider as district budgets are generated.