115C-426. Uniform budget format.

(a) The State Board of Education, in cooperation with the Local Government Commission, shall cause to be prepared and promulgated a standard budget format for use by local school administrative units throughout the State.

(b) The uniform budget format shall be organized so as to facilitate accomplishment of the following objectives: (i) to enable the board of education and the board of county commissioners to make the local educational and local fiscal policies embodied therein; (ii) to control and facilitate the fiscal management of the local school administrative unit during the fiscal year; and (iii) to facilitate the gathering of accurate and reliable fiscal data on the operation of the public school system throughout the State.

(c) The uniform budget format shall require the following funds:

(1) The State Public School Fund.

(2) The local current expense fund.

(3) The capital outlay fund.

In addition, other funds may be used to account for reimbursements, including indirect costs, fees for actual costs, tuition, sales tax revenues distributed using the ad valorem method pursuant to G.S. 105-472(b)(2), sales tax refunds, gifts and grants restricted as to use, trust funds, federal appropriations made directly to local school administrative units, and funds received for prekindergarten programs. In addition, the appropriation or use of fund balance or interest income by a local school administrative unit shall not be construed as a local current expense appropriation included as a part of the local current expense fund.

Each local school administrative unit shall maintain those funds shown in the uniform budget format that are applicable to its operations.

(d) The State Public School Fund shall include appropriations for the current operating expenses of the public school system from moneys made available to the local school administrative unit by the State Board of Education.

(e) The local current expense fund shall include appropriations sufficient, when added to appropriations from the State Public School Fund, for the current operating expense of the public school system in conformity with the educational goals and policies of the State and the local board of education, within the financial resources and consistent with the fiscal policies of the board of county commissioners. These appropriations shall be funded by revenues accruing to the local school administrative unit by virtue of Article IX, Sec. 7 of the Constitution, moneys made available to the local school administrative unit by the board of county commissioners, supplemental taxes levied by or on behalf of the local school administrative unit pursuant to a local act or G.S. 115C-501 to 115C-511, State money disbursed directly to the local school administrative unit, and other moneys made available or accruing to the local school administrative unit for the current operating expenses of the public school system.

(f) The capital outlay fund shall include appropriations for:

(1) The acquisition of real property for school purposes, including but not limited to school sites, playgrounds, athletic fields, administrative headquarters, and garages.

(2) The acquisition, construction, reconstruction, enlargement, renovation, or replacement of buildings and other structures, including but not limited to buildings for classrooms and laboratories, physical and vocational educational purposes, libraries, auditoriums, gymnasiums, administrative offices, storage, and vehicle maintenance.

(3) The acquisition or replacement of furniture and furnishings, instructional apparatus, data-processing equipment, business machines, and similar items of furnishings and equipment.

(4) The acquisition of school buses as additions to the fleet.

(5) The acquisition of activity buses and other motor vehicles.

(6) Such other objects of expenditure as may be assigned to the capital outlay fund by the uniform budget format.

The cost of acquiring or constructing a new building, or reconstructing, enlarging, or renovating an existing building, shall include the cost of all real property and interests in real property, and all plants, works, appurtenances, structures, facilities, furnishings, machinery, and equipment necessary or useful in connection therewith; financing charges; the cost of plans, specifications, studies, reports, and surveys; legal expenses; and all other costs necessary or incidental to the construction, reconstruction, enlargement, or renovation.

No contract for the purchase of a site shall be executed nor any funds expended therefor without the approval of the board of county commissioners as to the amount to be spent for the site; and in case of a disagreement between a board of education and a board of county commissioners as to the amount to be spent for the site, the procedure provided in G.S. 115C-431 shall, insofar as the same may be applicable, be used to settle the disagreement.

Appropriations in the capital outlay fund shall be funded by revenues made available for capital outlay purposes by the State Board of Education and the board of county commissioners, supplemental taxes levied by or on behalf of the local school administrative unit pursuant to a local act or G.S. 115C-501 to 115C-511, the proceeds of the sale of capital assets, the proceeds of claims against fire and casualty insurance policies, and other sources.

(g) Other funds shall include appropriations for such purposes funded from such sources as may be prescribed by the uniform budget format. (1975, c. 437, s. 1; 1981, c. 423, s. 1; 2010-31, s. 7.17(a); 2013-355, s. 2(a).)