By John Fensterwald
The Legislature has granted county offices of education an extra month, until Sept. 15, to approve school districts’ annual budgets. The effect will be to ease some of the pressure on the counties to review districts’ local accountability plans, a new responsibility coinciding with the budget approval process, that many were hard-pressed to do effectively.
County education officials requested the additional time, which was tucked into the trailer bill, a catch-all bill accompanying the state budget, which lawmakers passed last month.
The state’s 58 county education offices are charged with approving both the districts’ annual budgets to ensure they’re financially sound and their Local Control and Accountability Plans, which lay out how districts will spend money and take other actions to meet school and student achievement goals required under the state’s new funding formula.