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Plan and prepare
Plan and Prepare | Principles and Policies

The planning and budgeting process begins with mobilizing key stakeholders, gathering information on academic performance and cost structure, and establishing principles and policies to guide the budget process.


  • Foster collaboration between the academic and finance staff in the budget process
  • Set expectations for the budget process and analyze the district's current state
  • Effectively communicate the process and corresponding decisions to stakeholders

Develop Principles and Policies to Guide the Budget Process

Budget principles and policies formalize standards and fundamental values that should govern the planning and budgeting process.


  • Level 1: Adopt at least a general fund reserve and a balanced budget policy in order to provide essential guidance for on-going financial sustainability.
  • Level 2: Adopt additional policies on asset management, long-term forecasting policies, and other policies most critical to your specific budgetary challenges.
  • Level 3: Develop and adopt budgeting principles for board and staff.

Your Quick Wins

  • Quick Win: Executive cabinet/leadership team discuss concept of the General Fund Reserve Policy and Structurally Balanced Budget Policy
  • Why important?  Frames overall process for budget development and overall financially sustainability