Quarterly reports are a best practice for school committees given their fiduciary responsibilities under MGL Ch. 71, sec. 37 and in order to practice their responsibilities for budget transfers under Department of Revenue finding 94-660.
On at least a quarterly basis, the School Committees should receive an update from the district administration regarding the status of the budget. This report should be broken down at the level at which the budget was passed; that is, the Committee should receive an update on spending by cost center.
Committee members should expect not only a record of the budget cost center as passed by the Committee and the dollars expended thus far, but also should expect an updated projection on the district administration’s expectation of what costs remain to be incurred. This last is crucial: cost centers, particularly those of salary accounts, change over the course of the year. In order for the Committee to spend the dollars with which it is entrusted in a responsible manner, the Committee must be updated on changes and be able to transfer funds accordingly.
Should there be a need to transfer funds between or among cost centers, the Committee must do so by roll call vote, as with passing the budget.