Budgeting is about allocating scarce resources between competing ends – that is, facing the reality that there are multiple important goals that may not all be able to be satisfied given available funds. Consider the difficult choices the public administrators must make in this NYT article.
This piece is also a reminder that while academic achievement is paramount in the public’s mind and policy rhetoric, we all have tacit expectations about other goals schools must achieve at the same time – pertaining to health, safety, nutrition, identification of abuse, etc. In quality improvement terms, these are “taken for granted” expectations – but if an administrator fails to achieve them, they go from being taken for granted to “front and center” – as it becomes obvious that schools do a lot more than educate.
The New York Times
Schools May Have to Absorb Students’ Unpaid Lunch Bills
By FERNANDA SANTOS
Published: February 8, 2011
Principals in city schools have been told to collect the money parents owe or identify a budget line the money can be taken from.