Financial Strategies Used By Secondary School Principals In Addressing Budgetary Deficit In Nakuru District, Nakuru County, Kenya
Education remains the main catalyst for development in any society, whether in the developed or developing world. Deficit budgeting is a serious issue in schools since if not properly addressed it makes it difficult for school managers to consistently provide timely and quality learning services. Hence, the purpose of this study was to establish the financial strategies used by secondary school principals in addressing budgetary deficits in their schools in Nakuru District. Specifically it aimed at achieving the following objectives; to establish the extent to which principals have diversified school funding sources; influence proper accountability of resources in schools; minimize school operational costs; and encourage students to participate in school community work in order to address budgetary deficits. Previous studies done in this area have not identified these strategies exactly and their effect. The theory of production guided the study. Descriptive survey design was used. All the twenty two schools in the area were targeted and both Purposive and simple random sampling were used to draw a sample size of 253 respondents who participated in the study. Pre tested questionnaires were used in this study to collect data. The data analysis was done using SPSS 11.5 and descriptive statistical techniques were employed which included frequencies, percentages, crosstabs and tests for significance using the Chi-squares. According to the findings of the study, the major sources of funding for the schools was government funding with the constituency development fund CDF also playing a considerable role in providing necessary funds for the schools running. Seminars organized to train school heads was proving effective in instilling financial resource management skills to the participants. Majority of the school management was briefed on their respective schools financial position on a weekly basis; however, a significant section reported inconsistent briefings based on request. It was established that majority of the school managers felt that the funding was adequate especially for the schools major vote heads. Majority of the schools also practiced strategic planning to ensure proper allocation of resources and minimize over expenditure in unforeseen developments. The students participation in their schools manual work was found to be significant in reducing the labor costs, hence, saving on labor costs. The study concludes that all the study variables were indeed factors in the strategies used in addressing the budget deficits by secondary school principals in Nakuru District. It is recommended that the school principals and other members of the school management to attend regular trainings on financial management to enhance their skills in running the schools particularly within the budget confines. The stakeholders including the NGOs, donors, parents and the members of the public should encourage the school heads to seek ways of cutting costs so as to ensure that all the funds obtained from the diverse sources can be used within their confines. Researchers in this area of study need to make their findings more public and accessible and should also use their findings to tailor courses and workshop themes especially in the area of budgeting for financial stability.