While the literature is slowly increasing, there is still a great need for more information about how to structure school-based budgeting as part of effective school-based management. Recent research has analyzed district and state policy related to school-based budgeting (Wohlstetter & Buffett, 1992), but there continues to be a deficit of information about how to carry out budgeting at the school site and the support structures needed for implementation. This chapter adds to the knowledge base by exploring effective school-based budgeting practices within effective school-based management contexts.
Early research on school-based management focused on how much power was devolved to schools, but more recent research has examined a broader set of conditions for school-based management, including the professional development activities, information, and rewards needed to create high performing school organizations. In the first section of this chapter, we explore the implications of an expanded notion of school-based management as a context for examining the budgeting process. The second section analyzes exemplary school-based budgeting practices in several school-based managed districts to learn more about how schools effectively redesigned themselves to accommodate their new budgeting responsibilities.