For school districts, balancing income with revenue can be tricky. Since the quality of education cannot be compromised, school districts must come up with other ways to reduce operating costs. This involves controlling expenditure by reducing day to day running costs and eliminating unnecessary spending. Here are a few key points that need to be addressed to achieve this.
Practical Financial Planning
To understand where you can save, you need to first know how much you really need. Thus, the first step is to draw up a financial plan. This should not be an ‘idealistic’ plan but should be practical and realistic. It needs to list out the cost of all activities of the year and the resources needed for them. This plan can then be used as a benchmark for comparison with other schools in the district. If there’s a shortfall of revenue, it might mean that the available resources are not being used efficiently. On the other hand, a financial surplus may indicate that money is not being used efficiently.
Recruiting staff for school can be an expensive affair. Hiring teachers who are good at their jobs reduces the cost of training them. To reduce this cost further, schools need to make an effort towards retaining their teachers for longer periods of time. Reducing staff turnover directly reduces the hiring costs incurred.
Ensuring that teachers are not overworked is one of the most effective ways to retain staff. Thus, schools need to cater for support staff who can take over when a permanent staff member is absent. This staffing should be flexible. Schools can work together to curtail recruitment costs by sharing support staff. This means that when one school has a shortage of staff, teachers from another school can be transferred to bridge the gap.
School bus tracking
In a bid to make traffic management outside the school easier, for the student’s convenience and a million other reasons, it makes sense for schools to offer student transportation by bus to and from school. However, maintaining a fleet of buses has its own costs. There are also fuel costs to be considered. Thus, maybe every school need not have its own bus service to all the different parts of the city.
Installing a school bus tracking system in place will not only ensure student’s safety but also help schools monitor their fleet of buses and keep a check on the routes travelled, in turn increasing the fuel efficiency. School bus tracking will help the schools ensure effective and efficient utilization of their transportation resources.
Replacing standard light bulbs with energy-efficient LED bulbs is one the first step towards economizing utility costs. Schools can also install automated systems to control the electricity and air conditioning equipment. Occupancy sensors may be used to switch on lights and fans only when students are in a class or common area. Similarly, programmable thermostats can be installed to minimize the costs of heating and cooling common areas.
Collaboration between schools for leasing equipment and purchases inventory can help schools get better rates and thus reduce operational costs. It can also help schools buy shared equipment rather than continue to lease it at high rental rates. To help schools store the bulk purchases, school districts can come together and hire common storage space. Similarly, schools that offer mid-day meals can have centralized kitchens to control costs while providing their students with nutritious food.
Reducing operating costs is not something that schools need to do alone. By working together, the entire district can achieve lower operational costs while giving students the best quality education. In addition, these costs and strategies should be evaluated from time to time to see if they need to be modified in any way. School bus tracking can help every school curb costs and increase efficiency at an individual level and should be adopted by all the schools.
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