Last Tuesday was quite a day in case you haven’t heard. The governor’s office issued an executive order to require discussion of "administrative services" consolidation in all schools that spend less than 60% of their revenue in the classroom. I am normally a calm, reserved guy who doesn’t get too panicky about stuff, but even I got the Chicken Little syndrome. If it had actually rained in western Oklahoma during this press conference, I might have really started thinking the end is near.
Now that we've had a few days to examine the situation, let’s review:
- We know instructional funds (OCAS Function code 1000) will be extremely important in preparing for this study. Take a look at how much of your budget is actually found in instruction.
- We don’t know how student services codes for student support, instructional support and administrative support (the 2100’s, 2200’s or 2400’s, respectively) will be treated in this study. If only direct instruction costs (1000’s) are counted, everyone will have a problem and we will have to change the basic way that schools operate. However, it is always a good idea to study your actual cost structures within student support services coding.
- The central business and board of education codes (2300 and 2500) are exceptionally important. How much are you coding in this area? Be honest, and be complete. The worse mistake you could make is to try and not show real expenditures in this area. This is your main administrative code set; you have to spend some money here.
- Based on Governor Fallin's discussion from last Tuesday, transportation and grounds OCAS codes (2600 and 2700) are supposedly not a part of the instruction equation. That could have changed today, but the biggest concern for both rural districts and charters is that these areas have to be counted as instruction. If you don’t run buses and maintain your buildings, then you run into the issue of not having students at school and unsafe learning environments.
- One last issue for which we don't yet have an answer is if this will play out to where we are looking at all funding. If that is done, it will drastically change how this works, and there will have to be much more discussion about the necessary coding implications.
In case you can’t tell from the above points, we don’t know where they are going. We have calculated a large district’s data and have pulled up several smaller districts to begin building them out. If you want to see what we see from a pure look at the numbers, we are here to help.
I really don’t want to throw fuel on a fire, but we are seeing that the actual efficiencies are not going to occur as common logic dictates they would. This will be interesting, and as always we are here to help you.