The Liberty Central School District Business Office is responsible for managing the money needed to support the district’s educational mission. One of the office’s most important functions is developing the proposed school budget for the consideration of the district’s Board of Education and voters.
As the district’s business manager, Georgia Gonzalez, supervises Liberty’s Business Office, which is responsible for accounting, auditing, benefits coordination, capital projects coordination, contract negotiations, facility use coordination, the district census, payroll, purchasing, records management and safety planning. Ms. Gonzalez also supervises the Buildings and Grounds, Food Services and Transportation departments.
District residents have the final say on the annual school budget when they vote each May. Prior to that vote, several steps and a lot of work must take place to craft a balanced budget proposal. Budget development begins in the fall and winter.
Title I, Part A (Title I) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended (ESEA) provides financial assistance to local educational agencies (LEAs) and schools with high numbers or high percentages of children from low-income families to help ensure that all children meet challenging state academic standards. Federal funds are currently allocated through four statutory formulas that are based primarily on census poverty estimates and the cost of education in each state.
- Basic Grants provide funds to LEAs in which the number of children counted in the formula is at least 10 and exceeds 2 percent of an LEA’s school-age population.
- Concentration Grants flow to LEAs where the number of formula children exceeds 6,500 or 15 percent of the total school-age population.
- Targeted Grants are based on the same data used for Basic and Concentration Grants except that the data are weighted so that LEAs with higher numbers or higher percentages of children from low-income families receive more funds. Targeted Grants flow to LEAs where the number of schoolchildren counted in the formula (without application of the formula weights) is at least 10 and at least 5 percent of the LEA’s school-age population.
- Education Finance Incentive Grants (EFIG) distribute funds to states based on factors that measure:
- a state’s effort to provide financial support for education compared to its relative wealth as measured by its per capita income; and
- the degree to which education expenditures among LEAs within the state are equalized.
Once a state’s EFIG allocation is determined, funds are allocated (using a weighted count formula that is similar to Targeted Grants) to LEAs in which the number of children from low-income families is at least 10 and at least 5 percent of the LEA’s school-age population. LEAs target the Title I funds they receive to schools with the highest percentages of children from low-income families. Unless a participating school is operating a school-wide program, the school must focus Title I services on children who are failing, or most at risk of failing, to meet state academic standards. Schools in which children from low-income families make up at least 40 percent of enrollment are eligible to use Title I funds for school-wide programs that serve all children in the school. LEAs also must use Title I funds to provide academic enrichment services to eligible children enrolled in private schools.