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Posted February 7, 2012

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Budget Story Updated at

We're making an effort to keep budget news up-to-date and easy to understand on the APS website.

Let's face it -- public school budgets are complicated. Operational vs. capital funds. Federal, state, local and private grants. Title money. Transportation dollars. Money for instructional materials.

And then there's the funding formula, pupil-to-teacher ratios, waivers and adjustments for special education, English Langauge Learners and those who qualify for free or reduced-price meals.

No wonder parents and community members sometimes have a hard time understanding just where their tax dollars go.

In an effort to simplify the process and also to make APS funding and spending transparent, we have devoted a portion of our website to budget issues.

The recently (and often) updated information may prove helpful as the state Legislature debates public education funding over the next couple of weeks.

We also hope it is a useful source of information as the district and schools plan their budgets for the 2012-2013 school year.

The budget story on the website is divided into several sections. Start by going to the Budget, Planning, and Analysis site. There, you'll get an overview of the budget for the upcoming school year.

Then start clicking the links on the left side of the page. You'll find:

  • A Budget Summary that outlines our projected operational funding and expenses
  • A Budget Forecast that that explains in more detail some of our anticipated expenses for the coming year
  • Budget Basics that break down our various funding sources
  • School vs. Central Services explaining how two thirds of our budget goes directly to the classroom
  • Salaries & Benefits that looks at how 90 percent of the APS operational budget goes to pay employees
  • A Budget History that looks at what's happened to APS funding over the past four years
  • Budget Realities that looks at some of the restrictions we have when it comes to paying for employee salaries, benefits and other items
  • A Budget Calendar that provides a timeline of the budget process and
  • Ways to Contact Your Legislators who are currently deciding the fate of public education funding.

We encourage you to take a look, and we hope you find the information it helpful.If you have questions or comments, you can submit them to

Money that can be used for new classrooms but not teacher pay. Money that is teacher pay. Money that can't be used for

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