Reducing spending without hurting student achievement

Ohio Smart Schools reduce spendingPushed by an economic crisis, Ohio can find new ways of doing business that are less expensive but yield the results we need. That’s the simple idea behind our investigation into ways Ohio schools can reduce spending without compromising the quality of students’ education.

In a time when local, state and federal governments across the country are struggling with falling revenues, Ohio must develop or expand policies and procedures that allow schools to operate on smaller budgets and yet maintain – even raise – their high standards for students.

The need for increased efficiency in Ohio’s education system is clear. The state is facing a projected $8 billion hole in the next budget, a problem complicated by a high unemployment rate and increasing Medicaid burden as the population ages. 

There is no easy solution for this looming problem. While billions in federal stimulus dollars are being directed to education, Ohio can’t count on those funds to resolve the deficit.

Stretching Ohio’s dollars

We are investigating ways to reduce spending that have proven effective in local districts and other states, as well as new ideas that could generate savings for Ohio. Our investigations include the following approaches:

  • Collaboration: Finding more ways that school districts and other governmental entities can work together to share services and reduce costs.
  • Best practices: Identifying and sharing best practices that have helped districts operate efficiently.
  • Structure: Rethinking structures and processes that may inhibit public schools from getting the most for their money.