Nearly, everyone, agrees, we need to provide students, attending public schools, with the best, possible, education. However, the difference, of opinion, often, comes – to, how to best, most realistically, etc, produce the most desirable results! While some, believe, there is no – such – thing, as spending, too much, on educating children, others feel, the ever – spiraling, costs, related to doing so, appear, to be, getting, out – of – control! In reality, effectiveness, and results, are, not, merely, based – on, how much, one spends, etc, but, rather, on how the focus, is prioritized, and, whether, the approach, is, with, maintaining, an open – mind, thinking, outside – the – box, and, the best options, to choose. With, that in mind, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, four considerations, in terms of how, to pursue, this alignment, with the most, common sense.
1. Begin with a zero – based budget: Several years ago, when I inquired, why, my local school system, used certain policies, etc, a high – level, member of the school’s administration, informed, me, it was, Because, it’s the way, it has always been done. This upset me, because, while, the answer, might be factual, policies should never be, based, predominantly, on habits, but, rather, on potential, and best – results! In order to try to provide, a quality education, while controlling costs, it takes commitment, and discipline, by administrators, and School Board members, to think, outside – the – box, and consider, how things, should be done, based on the best, bang – for – the – buck! This means, examining, budgetary line items, based on using, zero – based budgets, and, asking, whether, how things have been done, might be done, better, and more effectively/ efficiently!
2. Capital expenditures/ planning: One of my pet – peeves, is, in the areas, related, to capital expenditures, and what seems, like, an apparent lack of quality planning, etc! I have witnessed, many occasions, when a million dollars, or more, is, often, included in the budget, for roof maintenance, etc.
3. Prioritizing: How should schools, prioritize, spending? In my opinion, it should emphasize, quality education/ educating, and, the best ways, to effectively, proceed, forward, with an attempt to provide this, while controlling, ever – escalating, run – away, costs!
4. Common sense: How schools, are operated, from a cost – standpoint, appears, to use, very – little, common sense! I recognize, common sense, may be, a rare commodity, but, don’t taxpayers, have large – enough, burdens, and don’t, our kids, deserve the best educations?
If we want our schools, to succeed, by educating children, effectively, while, controlling costs, etc, we must, demand better, and more, open – minded, planning, and execution! Will you stand – up, for your rights?