Most money for public education in California comes from the State. Berkeley taxpayers have recognized the value of public education and provide a significant amount of additional resources through the Berkeley Schools Excellence Program (BSEP) and Measure H. BSEP allows Berkeley schools to maintain small class sizes and to support libraries, music and funds for each school. Measure H maintains school buildings and grounds.
The Berkeley Unified School District maintains a General Fund and thirteen other District Funds. Within the Combined General Fund are both unrestricted and restricted monies. Unrestricted money can be spent on any expense. Restricted money can be only spent on the designated category, for instance on teacher professional development or instructional materials like textbooks. Additional District Funds include revenue and expenditures for facilities, early childhood education, nutritional services, other capital items, and the special reserve maintained by the district.
The District is fiscally solvent and meets the 3% reserve required by the State of California. The District uses an independent auditing firm and conducts separate audits for the General Fund, Berkeley’s special taxes BSEP and Measure H as well as the bond fund, Measure I.
Where our money comes from
How our money is spent
|Teachers, Principals, and other Certificated Staff Salaries||43%|
|Classified Salaries (non-teaching staff)||18%|
|Service and Operating Expenses||15%|
|Transfers to Other Funds||3%|
|Books and Supplies||3%|
Each year before June 30 the School Board is required by law to pass a balanced budget. Before that happens, there is a six-month process to develop the district’s budget.
The annual budget process begins in January, after the Governor has released his proposed budget for the fiscal year beginning the next July 1. The district begins to develop a budget based on this proposal, knowing that the Governor will release a May Revise — essentially a revision to this January proposal but based on several more months of economic data.
For the past four years, a Superintendent’s Budget Advisory Committee (SBAC) has been responsible for creating budget recommendations for the Superintendent. The SBAC starts with a staff recommendation for the budget, created by department heads as a starting point for its deliberations. It is free to recommend changes to the budget, keeping in mind the necessity to pass a balanced budget.
The Superintendent’s Budget Advisory Committee consists of 17 voting members, 8 of which are BUSD staff, including representatives of all 5 unions, and 8 community members, and a student representative. The Deputy Superintendent (CBO) chairs the meetings, which are also attended by the Superintendent, two School Board members and a staff liaison who takes meeting notes.
|January||Governor releases budget proposal|
|February||Staff presents a recommendation to the Superintendent|
|February – April||SBAC meets every 2 weeks|
|End of April||SBAC creates recommendation|
|May||Superintendent distills staff and SBAC recommendations into a final recommendation for the School Board.|
|May||State Budget revision from Governor|
|End of May||Budget recommendation to School Board|
|End of June||Approval by School Board|
Superintendent’s Budget Advisory Committee (SBAC)
For information regarding this committee, click here.
District Audits, including Special Taxes (BSEP and H) and Facilities Bonds
All our funds are audited annually. Copies of the audits are found on berkeleyschools.net/audits page.