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About Smarter School Spending invites you  to join school districts from across the country on a journey to increase student achievement during these times of greater expectations and budget constraints. On this website you can find a process and free tools to help you on your journey.

Who in My District Take Part?

  • Financial Leaders:  Guide effective use of resources while maintaining financial sustainability
  • Academic Leaders: Promote attainment of goals and better student outcomes
  • Superintendents: Lead the district's vision and strategy for student success
  • Community Members: Articulate needs for their students and support student learning

Self Assessment


How can I get started?

Check out the free set of process and tools and begin your district's path to creating a better future for your students.

Districts that go through the process will produce:

  • A district-wide culture that prioritizes the smart and strategic use of resources aligned to student achievement.
  • A strategic finance plan for the next three to five years
  • An easy-to-understand annual budget document
  • A stakeholder engagement plan
  • A plan to continue the work for years to come

About GFOA


GFOA is the active manager of and represents public finance officials throughout the United States and Canada. The association of nearly 19,000 members are finance officials involved in planning, financing, and implementing of thousands of governmental operations. 

GFOA has established Best Practices, with 4 demonstration districts, that align with the Smarter School Spending Framework. Districts that follow these best practices are encouraged to apply for the GFOA award and join the alliance. 

Alliance for Excellence in School Budgeting

Alliance for Excellence

The Alliance for Excellence in School Budgeting is an early adopter group of 70 plus school districts from across the country working on implementing Smarter School Spending and the Best Practices in School Budgeting. School districts come from a wide range of demographics and also where they are at with their current budget process. 

Technical Assistance Providers

Some districts have found that a technical assistance partner can offer valuable extra support and help them build internal capacity to do this work going forward. As a TAP provider, you can utilize the Smarter School Spending framework to help better guide school districts wanting to improve their budgeting processes.