Glossary of Terms

Administrative Support Services:
Activities concerned with the Board of Education, Executive Administration, and General Administration.

An allocation of funds for expenditures or to incur obligations for specific purposes. An appropriation is usually limited in amount and as to the time when it may be expended.

Average Daily Attendance (ADA):
The aggregate days of attendance for the period divided by the number of days school was actually in session.

Average Daily Membership (ADM):
The sum of the number of days in membership for all students in individual school units, divided by the number of school days in the term.

Balanced Scorecard:
A scorecard is a management and measurement system alignment to the CMS vision and goals. It is used as both a roadmap to set direction and a dashboard to check progress. The “Balanced” refers to the scorecard’s use of objectives and measures in four quadrants.

A plan of financial operations embodying an estimate of proposed expenditures for a given period or purpose and the proposed means of funding.

Budget Calendar:
A budget calendar is included in the School Budget and Fiscal Control Act and prescribes the last day on which certain steps of the budget are to be performed.

Budgetary Control:
The management of the financial affairs of the school system in accordance with the appropriate laws, regulations, and procedures of the various governing bodies.

Business Support Services:
Activities concerned with fiscal services, operation of plant, transportation of pupils, plant maintenance, and supply services.

Career Development/Performance-Based Accountability Program (PBAP):
An intensive in-service and evaluation program which provides a "career ladder" for teachers leading to salaries equivalent to the mid-management pay range.

Capital Replacement:
Expenditures relating to replacement of roofs, heating and air conditioning systems and other fixed assets of the school system including furniture, equipment, and vehicles.

Categorical Grants:
Normally used to describe a grant received from another governmental unit to be used or expended on specific programs or activities.

Central Support Services:
Activities concerned with directing and managing system-wide programs of personnel management, planning, research, communications, and data processing.

Child Nutrition:
Activities concerned with providing food to pupils and staff in a school or local school administrative unit, including the preparation and serving of regular and incidental meals, lunches, or snacks in connection with school activities and the delivery of food.

Co-Curricular Instructional Programs:
School sponsored activities designed to provide opportunities for pupils to participate in such experiences on an individual or group basis for purposes of motivation, enjoyment, and improvement of skills (e.g., athletics, yearbooks, clubs, etc.).

Community Services:
Activities not directly related to the provision of education for pupils. These services include community recreational, educational, and cultural programs and activities.

Continuation Budget:
A budget which includes the necessary resources for an entity to continue offering the same level of services as was furnished in the prior budget period.

Contracted Services:
Costs of services performed by outside agencies such as tuition to special schools and institutions, legal and audit costs, consultant services, and contracted repairs on buildings and equipment.

Current Expense:
Operational costs for the entire school system, including all revenues from State, County, Federal, and other miscellaneous sources. Capital replacement and building program costs are not considered part of current expense.

Employee Benefits:
Amounts paid by the school system on behalf of their employees. These amounts are not included in the gross salary, but are over and above. They are fringe benefit payments and, while not paid directly to employees, nevertheless, are part of the cost of salaries and benefits when appropriate. Total employee benefit costs are allocated to programs, activities, or functions in proportion to full-time salary costs. Employee benefits include social security, retirement (pensions), health insurance, dental insurance, life insurance, worker's compensation, and unemployment compensation.

The amount of payment to which a state, local government, or school system is entitled as determined by the federal government pursuant to an allocation formula contained in applicable statutes.

Fiscal Year:
The twelve month period of time to which the annual budget applies. All North Carolina school systems, by law, must observe a fiscal year that begins on July 1 and ends on June 30.

A fund is an independent fiscal and accounting entity consisting of cash and other resources together with all related liabilities, obligations, reserves, and equities which are segregated by appropriate accounting techniques for the purpose of carrying on specific activities or attaining certain objectives in accordance with established legal regulations, restrictions, or limitations.

Furniture and Equipment:
Expenditures for the acquisition of fixed assets such as equipment, computer hardware, replacement furniture, etc.

GAAP - Generally Accepted Accounting Principles:
Standards pertaining to financial accounting and reporting. These standards include the conventions, broad guidelines, rules, procedures, and detailed practices necessary to define acceptable accounting practice.

A contribution or gift of cash or other assets from another party to be used or expended for a specific purpose, activity, or facility. Capital grants are restricted by the grantor for the acquisition and/or construction of fixed (capital) assets. All other grants are operating grants.

Graphic Production Center:
Furnishes printing, graphic arts, and audiovisual services to the schools and departments.

Indirect Cost:
Indirect cost represents support costs and incidental supplies furnished by the general support services of the school system to a specific program (usually a grant program).

Information Services:
Activities concerned with writing, editing, and other preparation necessary to disseminate educational and administrative information to pupils, staff, managers, or to the general public through direct mailing, the various news media, or personal contact.

Information Systems:
Costs associated with providing computerized records of personnel, financial information, and students for administrative units within the school system.

Instructional Operating Costs:
Costs of supplies, materials, and other operating expenses related to the instructional program.

Instructional Staff Support Services:
Activities which provide administration and logistical support to staff instructors. Included are curriculum development, in-service, and media services.

Internal Services Fund:
The Internal Services Fund reflects costs of services rendered to all departments of the school system by the Maintenance Department, the Data Processing Department, the Graphic Production Center, and the Telecommunications/Copier Department.

Maintenance of Plant:
Includes the cost of repairs and upkeep of physical facilities, equipment, and vehicles other than buses.

Media Operations:
Cost of supplies, materials, and other routine expenses required in the operation of the school media centers (libraries).

National Board Professional Teacher Standards (NBPTS) Certification:
A nationally recognized certification which identifies and recognizes teachers who effectively enhance student learning and demonstrate a high level of skills, abilities and commitments. In order to be certified teachers must have a minimum of three years experience and must complete an extensive 1 to 3 year process of approximately 400 hours of extra performance-based assessments.

Object Code:
The service or commodity obtained as a result of a specific expenditure.

Operation of Plant:
Activities dealing with the day-to-day operations of the physical facilities, primarily composed of custodial services, security, and utilities.

Other Expenditures:
Amounts paid for goods and services which are not classified as salaries, employee benefits, purchased services, supplies and materials, and non-expendables. Items which could be included in this category are indirect costs, insurance, membership dues and fees, depreciation, license and title fees.

Positions equate to the full-time equivalent individuals that can be assigned for the employment period represented by the allotment category. For example, a position in the classroom teacher allotment represents an employment period of 10 months. The number of full-time equivalent individuals that can be employed is limited to the number of months associated with the positions allotted by the State.

Preaudit of Disbursements and Obligations:
Preaudit is defined to mean the verification by the school finance officer that the budget resolution includes an appropriation authorizing the obligation, and that a sufficient unexpended and unobligated balance remains in an appropriation to provide for the liquidation of a liability which is or will be chargeable to a specific appropriation within the current fiscal year.

Pupil Support Services:
Activities which provide technical, personal and logistical support to facilitate instruction. Included are administrative activities that result in providing pupils with appropriate medical, dental, and nursing services.

Purchased Services:
Amounts paid for personal services rendered by personnel who are not on the payroll of the local school administrative unit and other services which the local school administrative unit may purchase.

Purpose Code:
The function, action or purpose for which a person or thing is used or exists (why purchased). Examples of function are: regular instructional programs, special instructional programs, general administration, employee benefits, and community services. See pp. 197-203 for a list of purpose codes.

Regular Instructional Programs:
Instructional activities designed primarily to prepare pupils for activities as citizens, family members, and workers, as contrasted with programs designed to improve skills or overcome handicaps of a physical, mental, social and/or emotional nature. Regular instructional programs include grades K-12.

Amounts paid to persons who are employed by the local school administrative unit in a permanent, temporary, or part-time position or one who substitutes for those in permanent positions.

An organizational subdivision of a school system consisting of a group of pupils composed of one or more grade groups, organized as an unit with an assigned principal, or person acting in the capacity of principal, to give instruction of the type defined in the N.C. Standard Course of Study, and housed in a school plant of one or more buildings.

School Administrative Support Services:
Activities concerned with directing and managing the operation of schools. Included are the activities performed by the principal, assistant principals, and other assistants in general supervision and maintenance of the school records and the clerical staff support for these activities.

Southern Association Accreditation Standards:
Minimum standards set by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools covering diverse areas of student instruction from student curriculum to physical facilities. All member schools are required to meet Southern Association accreditation standards.

Special Instructional Programs:
Instructional activities designed primarily to deal with pupils having special needs. The Special Instructional Programs include services for the academically gifted, mentally handicapped, physically handicapped, emotionally disturbed, culturally different, pupils with learning disabilities, and special programs for other pupils.

Student Services:
Activities concerned with educational media services, social work services, guidance services, health services, psychological services, speech, pathology, and audiology services.

Supplies and Materials:
A supply item is any article or material which meets any one or more of the following conditions: 1) it is consumed in use; 2) it loses its original shape or appearance with use; 3) it is expendable, that is, if the article is damaged or some of its parts are lost or worn out, it is usually more feasible to replace it with an entirely new unit rather than repair it (which is not true of equipment); 4) it is an inexpensive item, having characteristics of equipment, whose small unit costs makes it inadvisable to capitalize the item; and 5) it loses it’s identity through incorporation into a different or more complex unit or substance.

Transportation of Pupils:
Activities concerned with the conveyance of pupils to and from schools, as provided by state law. Included are trips between home and school and trips to school activities.

Tydings Amendment:
Federal law provides that certain federal funds not obligated during the first year of allotment shall remain available for obligation and expenditure for one additional year. Federal grant periods vary. Therefore, each grant must be reviewed to determine if the Tydings Amendment will apply. Since the Federal fiscal year begins October 1 and the State fiscal year begins July 1, many grant periods can be active up to 27 months when provisions of the Tydings Amendment are applicable.

Uniform Chart of Accounts:
In 1975 the General Assembly enacted a law requiring a uniform accounting system for all local school administrative units effective July 1, 1976.


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Phone: 980-343-3000
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