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Forum: Cost Savings

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    T x over 4 years ago

    Let's face it: many of the great ideas on this site will require money, and almost all would be improved by some.  However, we all know that money is tight, so here's a short list of places I think the district could save money to use it for another purpose.  I don't know the size of each of these pots, but every little bit counts.

    1.  Phase out school buses

         America is one of the few countries that has school buses; most students around the world take public transportation to school.  I would imagine that the district could work with Metro to get routes and schedules adjusted to better get kids to and from school and give all students free passes.  This could be done over several years, perhaps school-by-school, and might include preserving buses for special cases (schools or homes that are especially difficult to reach, students with special transportation needs, etc.).

    2.  Don't update curriculum very frequently

    Most of what is taught in school doesn't change very quickly.  You could use a math book from the 1950's and still learn how to add and subtract, and you could use a style guide from then to write a fine essay.  I think the continual search for new textbooks is wasteful.  Obviously, modern history classes are an exception to this, as are computer-programming classes and probably a few others.  In general, however, I think that most textbooks should be purchased en masse, used until they're decrepit, and replaced with the same textbook from the storage room, with new curriculum adoptions being done as rarely as possible (every 15 years?).

    3.  Quit hiring consultants

    Most businesses, our district included, waste a lot of money getting the consultant of the moment to come in and tell them what they should do differently, then hire a different one to tell them something different the next year.  We have a lot of exceptional staff in our district (as do most other districts) who should generally be given the freedom to chart their own course and play to their strengths.  When there is a teacher who truly needs a course correction, the administration should obviously provide that, and teachers who want to pursue a particular trianing should be allowed to do so, but the top-down dictate that everyone study at the feet of the outside consultant should stop.

    I'm sure there are other places that money could be saved, as well as reasons that the ideas above should be amended in some way...  let's hear them!

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