My school bucks – Learn more with My Education Compass! Surprisingly, academics have long debated the impact of my school bucks and investment on student achievement.
Simultaneously, several studies conducted over the years have confirmed that increased my school bucks and appropriate investments from that funding result in significant improvements in high school cafeterias.
However, one question remain, where can the money be directed to achieve the best student results?
Jennifer Alexander, executive director of the Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now, considers how best to use the money in schools.
“How money is spent is equally important,” she asserted, “and I don’t think we have enough information from these studies.”
Table of Contents
What Do Schools Waste Money On?
Before investing in your high school cafeteria, you should examine your current spending and identify where it goes wrong.
According to a new Goldwater Institute report, the auditor consistently discovered that schools overspent, misallocated, or otherwise wasted money.
The overwhelming majority of schools in the study failed to allocate funds for intelligent investments, instead investing in unnecessary and wasteful ventures.
The following are the most common ways that schools waste money:
1. Outdated And Inefficient Operations
To keep up with the digital age, many schools’ rules and regulations have mostly stayed the same in the last 25 years.
A year-long financial audit in a New York school district discovered that most schools still used paper-based RFP processes, resulting in school offices overflowing with boxes and boxes of paper.
These schools were wasting time and losing valuable documents in the stacks because they needed a paperless system.
Furthermore, outdated administration systems hinted at a more significant problem of inefficiency in the school — and inefficiency costs money.
While it may be time for your school to upgrade its technology, be wary of the following way that schools waste money.
2. Unnecessary Technology
It is a common misconception that increasing the availability of technology in schools will result in higher student performance and, thus, profit.
While the availability of technology has been shown to improve student learning, the availability of technology in and of itself could be a better use of money.
The real issue is that schools waste money on technology that is not the best fit for the high school cafeteria. The availability of technology can only be helpful if it is the right kind.
Many factors must be considered when investing in technology. These include the student population, product research (rather than judging by brand name or vendor recommendations), and current problems at the school that may be solved directly through technology.
Do you need to go paperless in the office or classroom? There is a workaround that will save you money in the long run.
Should you buy the first school administration software that your school administrator friend recommends? No, because each management software is designed to meet the specific needs of each school.
3. Purchasing Decisions Using Informal Sources
This issue connects the two previous topics that schools are experiencing.
An “Improving EdTech Purchasing” study discovered that peer recommendations, even compared to longitudinal studies and complex data, tend to guide school spending.
The study interviewed prominent school leaders to learn about their procurement practices.
Over 60% of the leaders said peer or consultant recommendations influenced their purchasing decisions significantly.
Only 49% of respondents cited rigorous evidence. This is a significant issue.
How can we ensure that school administrators’ purchasing decisions are based on accurate data that aims to improve student instruction or management?
A new study identified potential strategies for making wise school purchases:
- Know what you require. Have you assessed your school’s critical needs through detailed data analyses on performance and staff responses?
- Find out what’s out there. Are you familiar with the market for what you require? Have you looked into the most recent studies and reviews that prove the product’s worth?
- Engage the end users. Teachers are aware of their students’ needs. Every day, the office staff deals with administrative issues. Speak with the people who will be directly affected by your investment.
- Concentrate on the evidence. Has your product’s vendor conducted the studies and shown the results required to prove the worth of what they sell? Check to see if you understand the context in which the evidence is presented.
Better Ways To Spend My School Bucks
There are several ways to ensure that the my school bucks received by your high school cafeteria is maximized.
However, it is easy to get carried away and implement significant changes without considering the ethical implications.
As a result, according to studies, there are three essential rules for carrying out my school bucks reallocation:
- Budget cuts should not be implemented at the expense of students.
- Changes in my school bucks should not be based solely on teacher sacrifices.
- Fundamental changes should always take precedence over quick fixes.
Considering these fundamentals, here are the best ways to spend your school’s money more wisely:
1. Find The Best Deals On Supplies
The US Department of Education discovered a shocking fact: over 94% of public school teachers buy supplies out of pocket.
The average teacher spends $500 on school supplies for their students each year. This is not good for the teachers or students and reflects poorly on the high school cafeteria.
That is why, for everyone’s sake, finding the best product deals is one of your school’s best investments.
2. National Cooperative Purchasing Contract
Consider implementing a national cooperative purchasing contract for maximum administrative and school supply cost savings.
The NCPA is the leading federal government purchasing cooperative in the United States. It works to lower the cost of office and school supplies by leveraging the purchasing power of government agencies across the country.
A contract like this will reduce the overall cost of office and school supplies while also reducing the number of vendors. This is frequently a better deal than reimbursing teachers for out-of-pocket money.
3. Invest In Teachers
Your school will benefit significantly from a leaner, more productive, and better-paid workforce.
Teachers should be prioritized because they are the foundation of your school and student success.
This entails devoting time and resources to creating the conditions that teachers desire:
- Adequate time alone and with other teachers for careful planning of curriculum and lessons;
- A teaching load that permits meaningful interactions with students;
- A say in decisions that affect what happens in school; time, support, and opportunities for professional development and advancement.
You can also spend your school’s money more wisely by asking fewer people to do more work for a fair wage.
This practice has been shown to improve both budget allocation and employee satisfaction.
A redesigned compensation system would include the following:
- More pay for more work and better results.
- A salary priority over benefits.
- A more aggressive salary schedule.
4. Enter Into Cost-Sharing Partnerships
Find mutually beneficial projects with a shared cost in your community. Considering this case study, the Grapevine-Colleyville School District has long prioritized technology in its schools, aiming for a 1:1 student-to-technology ratio.
The district recognized the importance of a more reliable internet connection. The community eventually agreed to collaborate with the city of Grapevine, Texas, to install fiber-optic lines for Internet service.
“Working together [with the city], we will be able to meet the needs of our students better while creating significant savings over time,” said the superintendent of schools.
Instead of paying $1.8 million per year for fiber internet, the district and the city agreed to split a $2.1 upfront cost.
The community will now enjoy the benefits of fiber internet for decades, with no additional internet service costs.
5. Be Intentional About Cutting Utility Costs
Encourage energy-conscious behaviors and enforce policies at your school to save thousands of dollars.
Most schools could save 25% of these high costs by implementing better energy-saving methods.
Efficient Ways to Spend My School Bucks…
Surprisingly, there are three major areas where your school can save money.
Examine your current my school bucks and spending in these areas, and consider budget-friendly alternatives that will avoid negative consequences for your students or staff while keeping your my school bucks.