Direct-funded charter schools enjoy fiscal autonomy giving them greater ability to manage their operations, budget and growth strategy. Charter school leaders get to decide where to best spend their money, from hiring the right people, to renovating current facilities, to investing in the newest education technology for the classroom.
It is absolutely critical that charter school leaders understand the principals of sound financial management and designate time and resources for the implementation and monitoring of their fiscal practices.
Four steps of charter school budgeting and financial management
1. Define your school's mission and education program to determine the key data for your budget.
2. Estimate expenses (including start-up costs) to gauge how much you must spend to implement your program.
3. Understand revenue sources to ensure you can access all funds for which your school is eligible.
4. Manage cash flow to monitor the inflow and outflow of cash and adjust your revenue/expenses accordingly.