Historically Hatrick presented his budget in November, but the last couple of years his presentation has been moved to January--closer to when supervisors begin their deliberations. Supervisor Geary Higgins (R-Catoctin), who previously served on the School Board, questioned why the change was made, noting it resulted in "a whole month lost when you could be deliberating the budget."Note that what Supervisor Higgins is referring to here is the Supervisor's timeline to deliberate the LCPS budget, not the public's timeline or the School Board's timeline.
Actually, that isn't the reason.
But Mays said part of the reasoning appeared to be the transition between incumbent and newly elected board members and that having outgoing members sit down with incoming members was "not a successful endeavor."
"In recent years there has been a feeling by the School Board that by having the budget presented later it allow more deliberation with some input from the Board of Supervisors," Hemstreet added.That's is the reason for something else... the later presentation by the School Board to the BoS, not by Hatrick to the School Board. We moved the School Board budget presentation to the BoS into February because the BoS doesn't even begin to look at the LCPS budget until March. We did this to allow more time for the public to provide input and for the School Board to deliberate its own budget.
The School Board moved the Hatrick budget presentation to January because otherwise LCPS would be the first government agency in Virginia to present a budget. LCPS would be ahead of every school district, every county government... even the Governor only presented his budget yesterday. LCPS may still be the first, but now it's first by a few days and not a few weeks.
There are always a lot of fiscal unknowns in December. In December 2010, we were hearing from County financial staff about a $75 million LCPS budget shortfall for the coming year. In March, the Supervisors cut just $7M due to changes in the state budget for education and local revenue projections that didn't begin to materialize until January.
Update: Dr. Hatrick discussing this subject at his budget presentation on January 4, 2012: