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How Can School Districts Reduce Operating Costs?

School districts have a hard time managing between increasing expenses and shrinking revenues while ensuring that the quality of education never gets hampered.

So how can you save money, streamline operations without compromising on quality instructions?

The ideas below will surely help you to handle the dwindling resources smartly while keeping the budget under control:

1.Redefining Roles Of Workforce

Reducing salaries can lead to people resigning from jobs which cannot be the right decision as expertise is a priority at the school level.

With the school systems are hiring all types of instructional coaches, program administrators, counselors, support staff, specialists and much more, there is a scope for redefining the roles of the workforce to increase productivity.

Although not easy, gearing up the existing staff for multi-tasking with extra perks can cut down expenses for sure.

2.Additional Responsibility For Extra Pay

Asking classroom teachers to take additional responsibility for extra pay is another idea which can work well when it comes to maintaining staff on a shoestring budget.

Authorities can ask whether they can handle larger classes, or do without the aides, take mentoring roles, monitor playground or lunchroom and so on.

If yes, you save on the bonuses, incentives, and facilities required for maintaining one more person to execute these jobs.

3.Thoughtful Integration Of Technology

Blended school models where students can learn online have been found to be extremely helpful in achieving greater pupil engagement, and individualization.

Organizing these models in the right way can contribute immensely in cost-cutting.

For example, students can learn foreign languages from online sources instead of traditional classrooms. Lower class students can also receive online tutoring from college students at low cost instead of pricey teachers.

4.Minimizing Administrative Costs

School districts employ a small troop of administrators, consultants, assistant superintendents and so on.

More often the existence of such elaborate front office staff is not helpful in education. Rather the money can be used in the classroom in a much better way.

5.Taking Advantage of Outsourcing Non-Instructional Services

Most of the schools run a gamut of non-instructional services.

These include food, janitorial, transportation, etc which can be opened up for the competitive bidding. Outsourcing non-instructional services open up the option to improve the quality and save money by comparing the services.

6.Effective Management Of Employee Health Benefits

Health benefit cost for school staff and teachers have skyrocketed in the past few years which is already putting a lot of pressure on the restricted budget of school districts.

Reforming the employee health benefit structure through a competitive bidding process can help save millions of dollars without accommodating the usual high-quality benefits that the employees have been receiving.

7.Acquiring Classroom Space Inventively

Every year school districts are in need of new school facilities, so that they can replace the substandard options with the latest, modern ones. But this time is also right for considering innovative ways of acquiring classroom space.

For example, using the lease options offered by the school can be a clever money-saving choice instead of going for construction of a new school building.

8.Line-Up Expenditures With Goals

School districts should always have a vigil on ROI and ensure that the expenditures are in line with the goals or outcomes. For example, check out whether hiring a math coach to improve the academic performance of struggling students is more feasible than training teachers to professional development.

Invest in what is working for you and scrap the plans that are not working as expected.

9.Picking Up Best Deals For Supplies

Picking up the best deals for supplies preferably promoted by cooperative purchasing contracts reduces the time and money you spend on them.

Districts that rely on teachers for bringing such supplies like crayons, and constructions paper and reimburse them can gain a lot by practicing this method.

The supplies bought by teachers are from the retail stores which are costlier.

Similarly, keeping a track of what teachers are buying can also give a better idea about the aggregate purchases.

10.Eliminating Storage Spaces

In the days when things took days to reach schools, having a warehouse to stock the supplies was a common practice and a necessity. But is the situation same now?

Today, it is always possible to purchase items in such a way that they can be delivered overnight thereby eradicating the needs to maintain the available vast storage spaces.

11.Streamlining Payments

Over the years, the ways payments are being made have undergone a massive change.

For school districts struggling to accommodate their requirements within the available finances, the best thing to do is reduce paperwork, printing, and postage by accepting maximum invoices through emails and choose direct online deposits instead of handling over paper checks.

Following a state credit-card program can also streamline payments and reduce the operating costs.

12.Trimming Utility Bills

Almost half of the electric bills are due to lighting. It is possible to trim down these expenses by using energy-efficient LED light bulbs instead of standard light bulbs.

Replacing fixtures with energy saving options can reduce energy consumption drastically. School districts can also think of using low watt compact fluorescent bulbs in the classrooms.

Other options such as using automated systems for switching off lights, air-conditioners, fans, and thermostats that minimize cooling and heating costs can shrink the electricity bill on a large scale.

13.Lowering Transportation Costs

Transportation costs can be cut down by employing a fleet of school buses that caters to all the schools in the district. Using cloud-based school bus tracking software for routing the buses in a way that all the students on the same route are picked up by a single bus can reduce the hours traveled by different buses for collecting the same number of students.

Automatically the number of buses required for efficient optimization of transportation is trimmed down which directly leads to the reduction in fuel consumption, number of support staff, and drivers.

It also lowers wear and tears subsequently lowering the maintenance expenses. Sharing buses between schools is another prudent way of lowering the transportation expenses.


Employing all the above tricks can definitely reduce operating costs and help school districts efficiently manage their expenses within a limited budget. For cutting down a major chunk from transportation expenses install the best school bus tracking system now!

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