We need to be a district that is financially strong. World class schools are operationally efficient, have a strong balance sheet, keep clean and transparent books, and spend every dollar wisely.
Operationally efficient schools find ways to reduce administrative costs and non-instructional expenses. And, knowing that instructional expenses are the single largest cost in the district, they also find ways to deliver more learning without spending additional money. This is an immense challenge, but one which the best schools in the world have accepted.
Our district needs to have a strong balance sheet. We should not carry large amounts of debt, and all debt that we do incur should only be for long-life assets like buildings. We should take a conservative approach to our financial projections, and protect our Aa1 credit rating.
Our district must be above reproach in its financial accounting practices, adhering strictly to the letter and spirit of government accounting standards. Our financial controls must be strong, and clean audit reports should be achieved. And our financial reporting must not only be accurate, but also meaningful and relevant for Board oversight, insight, and decision making.
‘World class education’ does not mean ‘expensive’. Rather, it means that we derive the highest possible value from every dollar we spend on education. The tax payer is paying for the education of the community’s children, and we must be excellent stewards of each and every tax dollar. Our schools should adopt programs that encourage employees (and students) to submit ideas to improve the efficiency of our schools, from energy savings, to purchasing economies, to reuse and recycling.
Measures of Success: Credit Rating. Annual savings from efficiency improvements.
Key Next Steps: Initiative program to identify cost savings and, once savings are realized, reward those who found them.