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Measuring What Matters: Financial Planning and Budgeting

Each year, the School Board measures key metrics to monitor academic progress and operations at Eden Prairie Schools. To improve communication, the School Board has developed “Measuring What Matters” to provide visibility and transparency into the progress at Eden Prairie Schools.
 
The School Board hopes that “Measuring What Matters” will give the community concise, timely, and relevant information on the performance of our schools. 

Financial Planning and Budgeting is monitored by the Eden Prairie School Board each year via Executive Limitations Policy 2.5. This policy states: “The Superintendent shall not cause or allow financial planning and budgeting for any fiscal year or the remaining part of any fiscal year to deviate materially from the School Board’s Ends priorities, risk financial jeopardy, or fail to be derived from a multi-year plan.” During the monitoring process, the Superintendent must provide evidence that the district is in compliance with the policy.

The following figure shows the Comparative Tax Levy Data for the 2020-2021 school year, presented to the Eden Prairie School Board on Dec. 13, 2021. 

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Process to approve the Eden Prairie Schools District Budget as presented in the Policy Monitoring Report

School Board – The first official action that began the process of budget development was the approval of the payable 2020 tax levy, which occurred on Dec. 9, 2019. This levy included approximately 22.7% of General Fund revenue. The board also provided guidance and input to the budget development process as follows:

  • January 6, 2020 – Board workshop on a 5-year financial model

  • January 27, 2020 – Review budget timeline, discuss preliminary 2020-21 budget assumptions, 2019-20 mid-year budget approval

  • March 23, 2020 – Approved final 2020-21 budget assumptions, review proposed 2020-21 preliminary capital budget

  • April 27, 2020 – Review proposed 2020-21 school board budget

  • April 27, 2020 – Approved 2020-21 capital budget

School Board’s Perspective on the Data

Effective budgeting is a function of the rigorous budget development and approval process detailed above. On December 13, 2021, the school board evaluated compliance with policy E.L. 2.5. The Superintendent asserted, and the school board concurred, that the district is in compliance with this policy. The continued financial stability of Eden Prairie Schools provides a foundation for outstanding education, a collaborative work environment, world-class facilities, and consistency and value for taxpayers.

As has been the case for many years, school taxes paid by Eden Prairie residents are among the lowest of our neighboring cities. As shown in previous “Measuring What Matters” communications, our district continues to deliver notable student achievement results and high levels of parent/guardian and community satisfaction. Further, the great work of the district’s finance professionals has been recognized by independent professional organizations:

  • Eden Prairie Schools received the Association of School Business Officials International’s (ASBO) Certificate of Excellence (COE) in Financial Reporting award. The COE award is conferred to school systems that have met or exceeded the stringent standards of the COE criteria.

  • The district was also recognized for its high-quality Annual Comprehensive Financial Report (ACFR) for the fiscal year ending 2021. These awards demonstrate the Eden Prairie School District’s commitment to financial accountability and transparency.

For more information, click here to read the full monitoring report presented to the Board.