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What Do I Need to Include When Creating a Junior High and High School Choir Budget

I have to create two budgets: one for my choir at the junior high school and one for my choirs at the high school (public schools).  The district usually gives us a budget.  This year I have to create and submit my own budget for the choirs in the two different schools where I teach.  My currect choir budgets do not include everything I need.  I've never created my own budget before, and I don't want to overlook anything.
Is there anyone out there who would share their budget with me?  What are some things you wish were included in your budget?  How many students are enrolled in choir programs?  I teach in a small, rural district, but I would like to hear from all sizes and locations.
It's very likely that I will not get everything I ask for, but I want to start with a strong, reasonable budget submission.  I appreciate any help!  Thanks!
on February 12, 2014 9:28am
Hello Sherri,
I was just working on mine so I thought I would copy it here.  It is in an excel file - hopefully, it will format in a readable way.  The "high" notation denotes high priority.  The capital purchases are estimates that need to be updated. I am in an independent school of 185 students.  I have 50 middle school students in my program and 40 in my US chorus and 40 in the liturgical choir.  I also run a guitar program in the middle school.  The students purchase their own concert attire and I supply decorations in the form of flowers and plants that I then give as gifts after the concert.  ($100 each concert).  The budget that follows has covered my expenses well in spite of the fact that my chorus was larger than expected - I reused some music from my music library and purchased additional copies.
~~DEPARTMENT: Choral Music     
Choral Music Upper School 30 copies of 15 songs(a) app.$1.50-3.00 $1,100.00  high 
Choral Music Middle School 20-30 copies of 15 songs  $1.50-3.00 ea $900.00  high 
Music for Choral Festivals 12 copies of 10 songs $1.50-$3.00 each $360.00  high 
Festival Fees Registration fees for student participation in district festivals $500.00  high 
Cantare Lux Liturgical Ensemble Music including for special occasions(Christmas, Baccalaureate) $500.00  high 
Guitar maintenance - guitar is a self-supporting program through rental ($300.00)   $120.48
Smart Music Subscription online program that guides student learning and practice $140.00  high
Accompanist for concerts students perform far better when director is not at the piano $800.00  high 
Piano Tuning and maintenance five tunings/year $750.00  high 
programs for two concerts (will be done in house) $100.00  high   
NAFME(formerly MENC) national music education conference membership $140.00  high 
total (does not include figures for guitar maintenance) $4,990.00   
Acoustic Piano: $30,000  our piano has a crack in the soundboard, doesn't tune or play well, and is too large to move to new school high
Digital Piano current piano in music room is old and no longer plays well $3,000.00  high 
Risers Current risers are old,noisy and unsafe.  New risers can be taken to new school $6,000.00  high 
tablet arm desk chairs versatile use in choir classroom/desk up for written work/down for $9,000.00   
 singing rehearsal/can be used in new school   
Good luck!
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on February 13, 2014 8:52am
Hi Sherri,
Anne's response above is a very good specific example.  I would encourage you to "think on paper" about a full school year at each of your schools.  
What are your needs for your...
Class teaching - books, audio, equipment, charts, etc.
Ensemble teaching - scores, folders, 
Concerts - accompanists, maybe guest instrumentalists, programs, advertisement, recording, attire, props
Instruments - maintenance and tuning, moving if necessary
Room - visuals, a/v equipment, classroom management, software, seats
Professional Life - memberships, subscriptions, perusal/study scores
Walk through a full school year.  Did it meet all of your needs?  What choices did you have to make?  What was absolutely missing?  What could have helped but wasn't entirely necessary?  Use that as a launching point, and base your new budget estimate on the number of students you anticipate and a slightly high average for sheet music.
You might be very surprised at the figure you come up with.  And if you are suprised, your administrators will be too!  Set up conversations with them, and be prepared by having objective rationale and priorities.  Perhaps this is a goal that you can work towards together, even over several years.  Get them to be your ally.  You are knowledgable about your piece of the puzzle, and that the administrator/s are concerned with the whole puzzle fitting together.  Even if it is frustrating and you don't get what you want, you'll probably get more than you otherwise would have, and you will see what they are facing too.
Doing this at the college level is a little more complicated.  All the same items, but the process is on a bigger scale.  After I meet with the dean, she has to sell the budget of the entire school of liberal arts to a room full of car dealership owners.  Love those trustees!!
Very best wishes,
Tim Reno
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