State law requires that school district budgets be balanced. After having worked for weeks to reduce expenditures to the minimum that would be educationally acceptable and politically feasible, the school board and the superintendent found the budget still $3 million short of balance. Facing the deadline as to when the budget must be approved, the superintendent (with the school board president at his side) said to Henry Wilson, business ofﬁcer, ‘‘You know, I just took another look at those attendance estimates and I now believe that they were a bit too conservative. Go ahead and increase the estimates by another 600 students and that should just about give us the $3 million additional state aid that we need to get that budget in balance.’’ State aid is based on actual, not estimated, student attendance. Wilson, who has to prepare the budget, is unaware of any evidence that would support a modiﬁcation of the estimates he had been working with for the past several weeks.
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