Ultimately, the spending levels of individual districts, their specific uses of funds, as well as disparities among districts result from the school budgeting process. This process in carried out in each district with state supervision under laws and rules, such as that cited above, which provide each school board significant latitude to do and spend what it considers necessary under authority of the State Constitution.
Through that process, each school board's proposed budget is approved initially by the Department of Education's county office of education. These initial approvals are governed by the established standard which holds that a budgeted item is essential, in type and amount, if: 1) it supports the implementation of a state mandate; or 2) the local board has determined that it is necessary to meet its own local objectives. Therefore, in reviewing district budgets, the Department of Education historically has tended to focus almost exclusively on assuring that expenditures are included in the budget, and rarely on identifying proposed expenditures that should be excluded because they are nonessential, wasteful or counterproductive. Therefore, virtually all proposed expenditures are approved at this initial step.
(excerpt from Comprehensive Plan for Educational Improvement and Financing; An Interim Report; New Jersey Department of Education, February, 1995)
On the state level, some states have begun to allocate the funds needed to wire schools for telecommunications under school reform legislation or other initiatives. For example, Florida has spent millions of dollars to help retrofit schools so they can use a statewide information resources network. Schools apply for competitive grants that average $225,000 per school.
One board member advises you to scrutinize your states discretionary grants to see whether they might be used for school technology. He suggests that even if state grants dont at first appear to target technology, you might be able to use the money to acquire technology in pursuit of another purpose, such as improving math and science skills.
Another place to look is in programs that connect learning and work, such as state commerce, health and social services departments, departments of corrections, and economic development offices. Sometimes states will also match grants from community sources.
Link to your state department of education to look for available funding sources.
In this Module:
In the Toolkit:
|Toolkit Home Page||Why Change?||Why Technology?|
|Planning||Policy||Curriculum and Assessment|
|Community Involvement||Facility Planning||Funding|
|Prof'l and Ldrship Development|