Providing city officials & the public with nonpartisan information on the
NYC budget & economy

Featured Resources

Demystifying School Budgets

Demystifying School Budgets

June 2023 

This video series is designed for students, parents, and advocates to find and understand the budget of the individual school relevant to them. The first video is an introduction to NYC’s budgeting process and the second a quick primer on how to find a school budget. The next videos explain how to read and understand a school budget–with each video explaining complex concepts including the sources and use of funds. Please contact with any further questions or suggestions you may have after watching the series and fill out our survey.

You can view the entire series here or see below to select one.

Please see the glossary of terms to clarify terms.

Websites for each video can be found under the descriptions.


1. Timeline for School Budgeting: This video summarizes key dates for when the NYC Mayor and City Council negotiate the budget for New York City and, specifically, the budget for the Department of Education (now rebranded as NYC Public Schools). The video also highlights certain key dates for community education groups that make budget related decisions.

Websites for this video
SAM - School Allocation Memorandums
Financial Data and Reports (FSF etc)
The City Budget - Budget
SLT - School Leadership Team
CEC - Community and Citywide Education Councils
PEP - Panel for Educational Policy
Contracts for Excellence
Spotlight: School Budget Allocations: Office of the New York City Comptroller Brad Lander

2. Finding Your School Budget: Learn how to find an individual school’s budget on the Department of Education (DOE) website and using a web search.

Websites for this video
Find a School - New York City Department of Education
Galaxy Allocations FY 2006 to FY 2024
Galaxy Budget Summaries FY 2006 to FY 2023

3. School Budgets: Galaxy Allocations (Funds) and Budget Summaries (Spending Plan): Find out how to look at an individual school’s budget from two perspectives: what different sources of funds go into a school budget and how those funds are used for staff and other non-personnel costs at schools.

Websites for this video
Galaxy Allocations FY 2006 to FY 2024
Galaxy Budget Summaries FY 2006 to FY 2023

4. School Allocation Memos (SAMs): Video #4 explains what SAMs are, how SAMs relate to a school’s budget, and discusses the important components of SAMs including how funding allocations to schools are determined and how schools can use funds.

Websites for this video
Galaxy Allocations FY 2006 to FY 2024
SSchool Allocation Memorandums

5. Fair Student Funding (FSF): This video explains what factors feed into the FSF formula and how changes to those factors can impact a school’s initial FSF budget allocation.

Websites for this video
School Allocation Memorandums
FY2023 School Allocation Memorandums, Fair Student Funding
FY2023 FSF Guide.pdf
SF School Overview Reports
FFSF School Detail Reports

What budget related information these videos DO include: These videos review the funds that can be seen on a school budget as available on a school’s DOE website. At the end of the 2021-2022 school year (sometimes referred to as 2022), $13.5 billion was allocated directly to school budgets out of the Department of Education’s (DOE) $31.6 billion operating budget (43 percent).

What budget related information these videos DO NOT include:These videos do not cover all the funds that support a school. The DOE centrally manages funding for various school operations and positions. Some examples include janitorial services and school safety agents. These videos also do not cover capital funding to build new schools or make capital improvements to existing school buildings.

Glossary of Terms for IBO’s Demystifying School Budgets Video Series

  • Receive notification of free reports by e-mail
  • Facebook
  • Twitter