Governing Magazine Highlights Cost Savings Options in Education

In a recent column hosted on the Governing Magazine website, author William Eggers promotes “A few promising approaches to finding cost savings without cutting student services.” From the column:

Begin by placing a greater emphasis on the correlation between education dollars and outcomes. Policymakers have tended to focus too much on inputs without paying enough attention to efficiency, or to ensuring that educational dollars are delivering value. Politicians often point to their generous funding as proof of their commitment to education, rather than highlighting results boosting reforms.

The first place savings seekers should look is outside the classroom. Currently, 40 cents of every dollar spent on education is utilized for non-instructional purposes. One promising cost-saving approach is greater sharing of services across school districts. Arrangements can be made with other school districts, among schools within large school districts or with outside entities to share services across a range of functions from transportation and food service to facilities and real estate.

In a study conducted last year, Deloitte found that potential savings across the country from shifting just a quarter of non-instructional services to shared services could potentially yield savings in the range of $9 billion.

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties

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