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Budget Policy

APS Budget Policy Adopted December 6, 2023

Budget Approval 

The Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education recognizes its responsibility for adopting a comprehensive and accurate budget for each fiscal year. The board will approve a budget that honors the community’s vision and values and complies with all local, state, and federal laws, rules, and regulations. The budget must be balanced; the board will not approve a budget where expenditures exceed expected revenue.    

The board will approve the budget by June 1 of each year in a public meeting that complies with the Open Meetings Act. After board approval, the budget for the fiscal year that runs July 1 through June 30 will be submitted to the New Mexico Public Education Department for final approval. 

Budget Development

The superintendent and designated staff members will present updates as the budget is developed for review by the board, preferably throughout the year but at least monthly from January to June. Budget updates will include:

  • Timeline
  • Legislation analysis 
  • Enrollment, staffing levels, and salary projections
  • Revenue and costs 
  • Inflationary factors
  • Any significant issues related to changes or items of concern
  • Evidence of how resource allocation aligns with the board’s goals and guardrails and the district’s strategic plan 
  • Budget projections and forecasts 

As part of the budget development process, the superintendent and designees will share the community’s budgetary priorities with the board based on input that may be gathered in various ways, such as in-person or virtual hearings and online surveys. In response to the board’s fourth guardrail requiring the inclusion of parent, legal guardian, student, and community voice and engagement in school and district operations, and in compliance with state law, the superintendent or designees will prepare a draft budget that considers public input for board review during the spring. The board may vote to make changes to the draft budget. Approved changes will be incorporated into a final proposed version of the budget to be presented to the board for approval by June 1. 

Budget Management 

The Board of Education will monitor the use of district funds and oversee revenue and expenditures within the district budget. The board’s oversight should not be interpreted to mean that the board manages budget implementation. That responsibility is ultimately the superintendent’s. 

Once the budget is approved, any request for modification of a budgetary line item will be approved by appropriate supervisory personnel and submitted to the superintendent for consideration. The superintendent and designees have the authority to make changes to the budget as deemed necessary. However, the board must approve the reallocation of funds between budget line items.

The board will approve all proposed district purchases and expenditures that exceed or are expected to exceed $500,000. The board may only vote on funding, not vendor selection, for proposed purchases or expenditures that go through the procurement process as stipulated by the New Mexico Procurement Code and Federal Regulations. 

Expenditures exceeding $500,000 made in the cases of an emergency, as approved in writing by the superintendent or designee in compliance with federal and state statutes and regulations, will be exempt from prior board approval but will be reviewed by the board at the next meeting. 

The board delegates signatory authority for all checks for Albuquerque Public Schools to the superintendent or designee. The superintendent or designee will present a summary of cash disbursements to the board each month for approval. The summary will provide a snapshot of district spending. 

Budgeting Approach 

APS uses a budgeting approach that combines line-item, site-based, and zero-based budgeting dependent on enrollment. The district’s budget should align with student needs across individual schools and school types. In support of the board's goals to improve academic, social-emotional, and college and career readiness outcomes and its guardrail requiring equitable resource allocation, the budget will allocate resources to schools based on a community-grounded definition of student need to enable and empower school leaders and central office teams to make strategic shifts in resources to create desired student experiences, especially for those with the greatest learning needs.

Finance Committee

The board will appoint a Finance Committee as required by law to assist the board in carrying out its budget and finance duties. The committee will make financial planning recommendations to the board, including reviewing the district’s revenue and expenditure projections. The committee may also review financial statements, monitor revenues and expenses, provide oversight in the annual budget preparation, and serve as an external monitoring committee on budget and other financial matters. 

  • Membership on the finance committee is open to all members of the board.
  • All meetings are open to the public, and all meeting materials will be posted publicly. Board members are invited to submit questions prior to the meeting.
  • The Committee Chair and the board president will determine whether finance committee items be removed from a consent agenda because they warrant further board discussion or action. 

Financial Reports 

The district will take special care to demonstrate its accountability in financial accounting and transparency in financial reporting. Financial reports are provided to help formulate policies that serve student needs and help improve student outcomes as outlined in the board's goals and the district's strategic plan. 

The superintendent and designated staff members will present the following reports for board approval as often as monthly but at least quarterly:

  • Budget Adjustment Requests
  • Summary list of disposition of property 
  • Summary list of cash disbursements 
  • Purchases and expenditures that exceed or are expected to exceed $500,000
  • Donations
  • Grants 

Financial reports to be presented at least annually to the board for information only include but are not limited to: 

  • Operational fund cash balances
  • Student enrollment and per-pupil expenditures
  • Staffing costs 
  • School vs. district expenses 
  • Budget forecasting
  • Investment policies and strategies

Financial reports that will be made available to the public by posting on the APS website include: 

  • Cash reports
  • Financial statements 
  • Revenue reports
  • Expenditure reports 
  • The complete budget book

Legal Cross References 

New Mexico Statutes Annotated

Manual of Procedures

Adopted: December 6, 2023