Syllabus for EDL-680
BUDGET FORECASTING AND FISCAL PLANNING
The primary focus of this course is on the development of school and district budgets and budget forecasting, with consideration of the impact of local, state, and federal funding laws on budget development processes. Students will (1) examine the cyclical nature of budget development and how school budgets are collaboratively constructed; (2) compare and contrast expenditures of like districts; (3) analyze a budget; (4) review various models for implementing a budget and project how the budget should be implemented and coordinated to align with the educational vision; and (5) forecast future fiscal needs based on variables such as enrollment trends, population projections, state reimbursements for student attendances, and housing pattern changes. School financing will be examined through the lens of historical, current, and future funding issues. (ISLLC 3; NJDOE 3).
After completing this course, you should be able to:
You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the University's textbook supplier, MBS Direct.
As a capstone experience in the Educational Leadership program, you will prepare an electronic portfolio that demonstrates your incremental achievement of the program standards. Each course in the program helps you to identify artifacts to place in your portfolio on completion of the course. To this end, you are required to purchase an electronic portfolio registration code upon your entry into the Master of Arts in Educational Leadership program. Basic directions for purchasing access to and using your electronic portfolio are posted within the Educational Leadership Students Organization (online community).
Budget Forecasting and Fiscal Planning is a three-credit online graduate course, consisting of eleven modules. Modules include topics, learning objectives, study materials, and activities. Module titles and topics are listed below.
Economics of education
Education as human capital
Creation of wealth and education
Education as an important industry
Education as a public sector responsibility
Economics and social progress
Economic benefits of education
Noneconomic benefits of education
Taxation and education
Cost-quality relationship in education
Societal impact on educational needs
How education deserves a higher priority and the public demand for improvement
Demographic and social change
Consequences of not educating people on society
The inequalities of financing education
The equalization principle and improving state practices
Developing patterns and determining the best financing plan
Full state funding
Property reassessment and local district revenues
District power equalization
Emphasis on weighting factors and the various types
The taxation system
Characteristics of a good tax system
Taxes for education
School and business partnerships
Diminishing local control
How both urban and rural economics affect education
Governance under local control
Local fiscal control
Advantages of local control
Tax responsibility (local, state, and federal)
Early development of a state’s responsibility
Decentralization of educational systems
Development of school finance policies
State's ability to support education
Various state programs
U.S. Department of Education
Advantages and disadvantages of receiving federal funds
The role of the U.S. Constitution
Federal expenditure and increased service
The future of federal aid to education
Power of the court before 1971
Court cases equity and adequacy
Pressure for reform
Factors limiting financing reform
Finance reform or tax reduction
Funds for nonpublic education: a controversial issue
Intervention of the courts
Separation of church and state
Educational choice and vouchers
Financing capital-outlay projects
School budget process
GAAP accounting process
The expanded role of human resources
Teachers and school finance
Administrators and supervisory salaries
For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete writing assignments, and complete three reports—a detailed report based on an interview with your business administrator, a report based on your annual school performance report, and a school budget. See below for more details.
Consult the Course Calendar for assignment due dates.
Each module in the course has an asynchronous discussion forum.
Online discussions provide an opportunity for you to interact with your classmates. During this aspect of the course, you respond to prompts that assist you in developing your ideas, you share those ideas with your classmates, and you comment on their posts. Discussion board interactions promote development of a community of learners, critical thinking, and exploratory learning.
Most discussion activities contain several activity questions. Be sure your posting addresses all of them.
Please participate in online discussions as you would in constructive face-to-face discussions. You are expected to post well-reasoned and thoughtful reflections for each item, making reference, as appropriate, to your textbook readings and any other sources you may use, including Web sites. You are also expected to reply to your classmates' posts in a respectful, professional, and courteous manner. You may, of course, post questions asking for clarification or further elucidation on a topic.
You are required to complete eleven short writing assignments of about 500 words. The writing assignments are on a variety of topics associated with the course modules. They require you to write well-reasoned and thoughtful papers on questions derived from the lesson objectives, making reference, as appropriate, to the readings and other sources of information. You are required to use APA format (current guidelines) for your work and for all references.
You will conduct and report on an interview with your school or district business administrator about the budget process. The purpose of this exercise is to give you, as a future administrator, first-hand experience with what is involved in preparing a school budget and with all of its various components. See Interview Report for further details, and consult the course Calendar for the report's due date.
In a second report, you will review and analyze your school performance report. In analyzing the performance report you will see how your school compares to state schools in your peer group. See School Performance Report for further details, and consult the course Calendar for the report's due date.
For your final project, you will prepare a school budget for one of three grade configurations (K–5, 6–8, or 9–12). The budget will be based on information provided and will give you an opportunity to incorporate what you learned earlier in your interview of the business administrator. See School Budget Project for further details, and consult the Course Calendar for the project's due date.
The principal artifacts for this course are the interview report, school performance report, and school budget project.
Place your artifacts in the Artifacts area of your electronic folio. You can also link your artifacts (designated as "Work") to ISLLC standards listed in the Resources area of the e-folio. Keep your work in "draft" or "ready for feedback" status for now.
Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:
All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:
To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or higher on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., assignments, discussion postings, projects, etc.). Graduate students must maintain a B average overall to remain in good academic standing.
To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:
Consider the following study tips for success:
Thomas Edison State University is committed to maintaining academic quality, excellence, and honesty. The University expects all members of its community to share the commitment to academic integrity, an essential component of a quality academic experience.
Students at Thomas Edison State University are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.
All members of the University community are responsible for reviewing the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the University Catalog and online at www.tesu.edu.
Thomas Edison State University expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the University insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:
Thomas Edison State University is committed to helping students understand the seriousness of plagiarism, which is defined as using the work and ideas of others without proper citation. The University takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing are subject to discipline under the academic code of conduct policy.
If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, or without identifying it as a direct quote, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > “Citing Sources.”)
Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.
Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.
Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.
For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance and originality report checking, click the links provided below.
Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism
When to Quote and When to Paraphrase
Writing Assistance at Smarthinking
Originality Report Checking at Turnitin
Acts of both intentional and unintentional plagiarism violate the Academic Code of Conduct.
If an incident of plagiarism is an isolated minor oversight or an obvious result of ignorance of proper citation requirements, the mentor may handle the matter as a learning exercise. Appropriate consequences may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool in addition to a lower grade for the assignment or course. The mentor will notify the student and appropriate dean of the consequence by e-mail.
If the plagiarism appears intentional and/or is more than an isolated incident, the mentor will refer the matter to the appropriate dean, who will gather information about the violation(s) from the mentor and student, as necessary. The dean will review the matter and notify the student in writing of the specifics of the charge and the sanction to be imposed.
Possible sanctions include:
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