Budget Simulation: A Strategy for Understanding

As the acknowledged leader in local government information and training, the UNC School of Government is able to offer resources not found anywhere else. For example, School faculty have created two engaging simulation tools applicable to cities and counties—Budgetopolis and Bottom Line! Through collaborative, board game–style play, public officials learn how to make strategic, long-term budgeting choices before having to undertake this important effort in real life.  Both tools are a distinctively fun way to educate decision-makers on the complexities and potential consequences of the local budgeting process. High school students and citizen groups who have played the games also report having a better understanding of their communities’ complex budget process and a greater appreciation of the tough financial and service choices their local officials must make.

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