Welcome to the FCMAT Help Desk. This resource is designed to provide guidance related to school business and operations in California. Responses are intended to share the expertise of our office and are not intended as legal advice. If your matter involves interpretation of laws, regulations or court precedent or otherwise calls for legal advice, you should consult legal counsel before acting on the resulting guidance.
Our Help Desk archives are filled with questions and responses submitted to FCMAT over the years. Please search our archive of Frequently Asked Questions
prior to asking your specific question, as the same question, or a similar one, may have already been submitted to FCMAT in the past. Please note that your question and the response may be posted to the archive of Frequently Asked Questions.
FCMAT will respond to your help desk request within 48 hours. You will be notified should additional time be necessary to research your question.
Consider consulting one or more of the below resources before submitting a help desk request via the submit button at the bottom of the page. Click on any item below for an expanded description and link.
is a concise guide to successful student body business management in a complex environment. It focuses on the wide range of decision-making authority of student councils, suggests useful tools and procedures, provides practical advice, and indicates legal constraints in specific areas.
The Fiscal Oversight Guide
provides local educational agencies and state policy makers with an informative and useful document clarifying the roles and responsibilities of fiscal oversight agencies.
The COE Fiscal Procedure Manual
outlines procedures and adopted standards that are required by California Education and Government Codes and can assist COEs in developing consistency and common practices when reviewing and responding to school district fiscal requirements. This manual is intended as a guide, not a mandate, and can be used by and can be used by every COE in California as an external document to assist in the monitoring of activities required by AB1200.
The Financial Accountability and Oversight Provisions of AB2756
booklet contains a summary of AB2756, and highlights the responsibilities of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, State Administrator, Legislative Budget Subcommittee, FCMAT, county superintendents, and school districts. It also addresses the Regional Teams of Education Finance Experts.
is an independent, impartial, statewide not-for-profit organization dedicated to enabling informed decision making on behalf of California’s public schools. As an Ed-Data partner, EdSource offers analyses and explanations of complex education issues, prepares graphic displays for the site, sets the context for the various reports and profiles, and monitors information on users and suggestions for future improvements.
contains state, county, district and school reports have a wealth of data about student demographics and performance, plus information about staffing, including teacher salaries. Financial reports for all districts display data in ways that permit extensive analysis and comparisons.
The California Department of Education
oversees funding and testing, and holds local educational agencies accountable for student achievement. This site includes education statistics on demographic data about students, schools, districts, and education staff in the kindergarten through twelfth grade public school system.
provides guidance for accounting and financial reporting by local educational agencies.
The State Board of Education
is the governing and policy-making body of the California Department of Education. The SBE sets K-12 education policy in the areas of standards, instructional materials, assessment, and accountability. The SBE adopts textbooks for grades K-8, adopts regulations to implement legislation, and has authority to grant waivers of the Education Code.
The Department of Finance
interacts with other state departments on a daily basis in terms of preparing, enacting, and administering the budget; reviewing fiscal proposals; analyzing legislation; establishing accounting systems; auditing department expenditures; and communicating the Governor’s fiscal policy.
The Legislative Analyst’s Office
provides fiscal and policy advice to the Legislature. The office serves the legislature by helping ensure that the executive branch implements legislative policy in a cost efficient and effective manner.
The State Controller
is the Chief Fiscal Officer of California and is the state’s independent fiscal watchdog, providing sound fiscal control over more than $100 billion in receipts and disbursements of public funds a year, offering fiscal guidance to local governments and uncovering fraud and abuse of taxpayer dollars. This office accounts for and controls the disbursement of all state funds.
The California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office
is charged with providing leadership, advocacy and support of the California Community Colleges. Serving as the administrative branch of the California Community Colleges system, the Chancellor’s Office is also responsible for allocating state funding to the colleges and districts.
As the State’s independent external auditor, the California State Auditor’s Office
provides nonpartisan, accurate, and timely assessments of California government’s financial and operational activities in compliance with generally accepted government auditing standards.
The Education Audit Appeals Panel
reviews and adopts an audit guide for the required annual financial and compliance audits of school districts, offices of county superintendents of schools, and other local education agencies.
provides a wealth of searchable information including California codes (including Education Code), State Constitution and statutes.
provides all new California laws that become effective on January 1st of that calendar year. The California Law database is also updated as bills are passed and become effective during the Legislative Session.
The Board of Equalization
collects California state sales and use tax, as well as fuel, alcohol, and tobacco taxes and fees that provide revenue for state government and essential funding for counties, cities, and special districts.
is under the authority of the State of California’s Department of General Services. As staff to the State Allocation Board (SAB) the OPSC implements and administers the voter-approved school facilities construction program. OPSC processes school facility construction grant applications, assists school districts throughout the cycle of school facilities construction projects, audits school facility projects and prepares regulation, policies and procedures in order to carry out the mandates of the SAB.
and its members allocate State funds for the new construction and modernization of local public school facilities. The SAB administers the School Facility Program, the State Relocatable Classroom Program, and the Deferred Maintenance Program.
The Division of the State Architect
provides design and construction oversight for K–12 schools, community colleges, and various other state-owned and leased facilities. The Division also develops accessibility, structural safety, fire and life safety, and historical building codes and standards utilized in various public and private buildings throughout the State of California.
The U.S. Department of Education
is the agency of the federal government that establishes policy for, administers, and coordinates most federal assistance to education.
is a bureau of the Department of the Treasury and one of the world’s most efficient tax administrators. The IRS is organized to carry out the responsibilities of the secretary of the Treasury under section 7801 of the Internal Revenue Code.
As always, if your request is urgent and you need immediate assistance, please call the FCMAT office at (661) 636-4611.
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