This graph shows the distribution of the expenses that are required to run the schools in your district on a day-to-day basis. Only school operating expenses are displayed here; for example, the percentage of a school district's budget that is used to pay salaries and benefits to teachers and other staff members, the percentage of the district budget that is used to buy purchased services (such as professional development programs for teachers), and so on. Expenses that are related to building schools or maintaining them are under the category of "capital"expenses. Look at the next data indicator for more information about school buildings and physical infrastructure.
Local school boards are responsible for proposing school district budgets, but county commissioners are responsible for funding them. Using projections for schools' expected expenses and the local, state and federal funds likely to be available to pay for those expenses, school boards allocate specific dollar amounts to each of the budget categories listed in this graph (salaries, benefits, supplies & materials, purchased services, equipment, other). The school board presents its budget, and any request it might make for an increase in school funding, to their county commissioners. County commissioners in North Carolina determine local school budget fund levels; they can fund the budgets as presented by the local school board, or they can adjust them according to the county's overall needs and commitments.
Generally, state and federal education dollars are spent in specified areas or on specific programs since those funds are "earmarked" by requirements made through various laws. Local education funds are typically more flexible and are often tailored to the specific interests and needs of local schools and communities.
For more information about the way funds are spent in your school district, contact your district central office. For information about the budget categories used in this table and other technical information about the data displayed here, see the Data Sources & Information Guide.