Tri States Public Radio Staff
Simple steps could bring significant savings
Mon April 23, 2012
Superintendent Says Districts Could Share Services
The Monmouth-Roseville school superintendent hopes the Classroom First Commission will take a look at simple ways to save education dollars.
Paul Woehlke said small steps can mean big savings.
He said, “There is opportunity for sharing what we call 'back office' functions. Payroll and bookkeeping and those kinds of things. In my mind, I'm not sure that opportunity has been explored to its fullest extent yet.”
He said districts use a wide variety of software packages so compatibility is the only real barrier.
Woehlke also said districts might save by cooperating to provide transportation for students. That would require legislative action. He said, “There is a law on the books that makes it difficult for school districts to outsource some service that they currently provide in-house.”
The Classroom First Commission has made a number of recommendations. One is to require districts with small and declining populations to conduct efficiency studies. The studies could lead to consolidations or county-wide mergers. Another is creation of a capitol fund for new buildings needed by districts that agree to consolidate.