Strategic Budgeting for School Districts

Make the most of school district budgets to deliver the best for students

Some of the districts engaged in strategic budgeting work with DMGroup


Build Student-Centered Budgets Despite Tight Resources

Facing tight budgets, rising student needs, increasing expectations, and the imminent end to ESSER funding, school district leaders must make courageous choices to shift resources and allocate funds to those initiatives that do the most good for students.

DMGroup’s comprehensive strategic budgeting methodology helps school districts embed a data-driven budgeting process to ensure resources are allocated most effectively and efficiently in line with district priorities and established strategic initiatives.

We leverage our Academic Return on Investment (A-ROI) methodology, which enables you to assess which programs are successful, which are not, and which could use some adjustments. This information empowers you to make data-informed decisions about spending, staffing, and resource allocation and to build stakeholder buy-in for budgeting decisions.

We also offer a professional development program, Academic-ROI (A-ROI) Institute, to help build capacity within your district to adopt the A-ROI lens and budget strategically.


Partner Testimonials

The CFO of Fort Worth Independent School District (TX), Carmen Arrieta Candelaria, talks about strategic budgeting and Academic Return on Investment in partnership with DMGroup.

Rockford Public School District 205 (IL) Superintendent Ehren Jarrett discusses the positive impact of strategic budgeting and Academic-ROI initiatives implemented in partnership with DMGroup.

Our Strategic Budgeting Approach

DMGroup’s Strategic Budgeting approach is a data-driven, methodical, phased approach to ensure the most effective, efficient use of resources to achieve district priorities.

The planning and budgeting process begin with a review of your strategic plan to identify district priorities; then, the focus turns to articulating a clear theory of action to guide resource allocation decisions in alignment with strategic priorities. Information on academic outcomes and cost structure is gathered to assess the academic return on investment. Our process also takes into account the importance of building capacity in the district, building buy-in from internal and external stakeholders, and adjusting and establishing processes and systems.


Promoting Equity with Student-Based Budgeting

Student-based budgeting creates a transparent system where each student receives the same amount of funding as other students with comparable educational needs, thereby promoting equity.

Learn about student-based budgeting

Building Capacity with Academic-ROI Institute

In this in-depth PD program, district teams learn how to critically analyze the impact and cost of their programs and budget strategically.

Register for our Fall 2024 Institute

We have less and less resources and higher and higher expectations in public education, and I think District Management Group does the best job of any group of really recognizing those dual challenges.

Dr. Ehren Jarrett, Superintendent Rockford Public Schools (IL)

One of the big effects of our work with DMGroup was that we’ve become better decision-makers when it comes to ensuring equitable allocation of resources.

Misty Herr, Deputy Superintendent Fresno Unified School District (CA)

The A-ROI is now built into the way we have our budget conversations with our leadership team, our bargaining units, and our Board of Education.

Dr. Mike Patton, Superintendent Saratoga Springs City Schools District (NY)

Featured Insights

  • Case Study : Three Member Districts Leverage A-ROI Methodology to Determine What Works

    Three districts learned how to integrate data into resource allocation decisions to ensure maximum impact from district budgets.

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  • Self-Assessment / Toolkit : Are You Ready to Adopt an A-ROI Approach to Resource Allocation?

    Determine whether your district is ready, willing, and able to shift to the A-ROI approach.

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  • Article : 10 Lessons to Remember: Putting Strategic Budgeting into Action

    Key lessons to keep front and center as you evolve your current practices toward a strategic budgeting approach.

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Contact us to discuss how we can support you.