Budget Department

Budget provides financial management of more than $350M. The following links are provided to assist you with your Budget needs.

 

Barbara Stephens

Director, Fiscal Assistance

(714) 628-4447

barbaras@orangeusd.org

 

Budget Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the Budget Important? 

The Budget is a School District's primary financial record.

A school district budget is more than numbers. It is a record of a district's past decisions and a spending plan for its future. It shows a district's priorities whether they have been clearly articulated or simply occurred by default. 

A school district budget can certainly be difficult to understand and even more challenging to describe. But behind the volumes of mandatory reporting forms, accounting procedures and jargon are some basic principles that can help bring clarity for those who develop school district budgets and for those who want to understand them. 

 

What is LCFF and how does it relate to the budget?

The Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) is the funding model used to determine the level of State funding for all school districts. The LCFF includes funding for core instruction, class-size reduction in grades Kindergarten-3rd grade, Supplemental and Concentration. The LCFF represents a majority of the School District's budget. 

What is the LCAP and how does it relate to the budget and LCFF?

The Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) is the requirement of the District to develop a three-year plan utilizing Supplemental and Concentration funds generated by the unduplicated count of Low-Income, English Learner and Homeless/Foster Youth. OUSD is mostly compromised of students who fall under one or more of these categories and thus have the flexibility to utilize LCAP funding for all students District-Wide. To develop the LCAP, OUSD must engage multiple stakeholders including parents, students, educators, employees and community members. The three-year plan will demonstrate how the District's budget will help achieve these established goals and will be assessed each year.

What is the General Fund?

The term "General Fund" refers to the accounting term used by the state and school districts to differentiate general revenues and expenditures from those placed in separate budget categories for specific uses. A School District's General Fund includes both unrestricted funds, restricted funds and categorical funds. 

What is the Fund Balance and Reserve? Why does the District put money there?

The "Fund Balance" represents the starting and ending points of each year's financial activity. It also represents a very important parameter for financial planning and budgeting. California state law requires that every school district our size hold at least 3% of its overall general fund expenditures in an unrestricted reserve which varies by district size. 

Is Orange Unified School District's budget audited?

Yes. Our District is required to have its budget audited annually by an independent firm. The Orange County Department of Education also reviews our annual budget as part of its legal responsibility for fiscal oversight of county school districts.