The 65% Solution
The issue is simple. In many school districts between 40 and 50 percent of education funding never makes it into the classroom. It either goes to administration or into business operations like transportation, food services, building maintenance, or other support functions. While non-instructional services are vital to the success of American schools, they take money away from the ultimate goal—educating our children.
I was in Indiana today testifying to both the House and Senate Committee on Education on a bills (Indiana SB323) that would enable local school districts to enter into shared services agreements for everything from back office funcations to instructional opportunities. In addition, it encourages cooperative purchasing agreements for everything from pencils to buses.
A Reason Foundation study found numerous examples with tremendous savings. I'm sure that some Commonwealth districts may already be doing this - but have they exhausted the envelope? Is there more they can do?
We need to fully identify and implement tools to reduce operating expenses to deliver those savings into the classroom - including these and privatization.