By Sean Scarpiello
As the government continues to cut education funding, schools are forced to come up with new ways to save money. School administrators in Waco, Texas have reached out to the parents of students, as well as the rest of the community for ideas to save money. People could submit their suggestions online which were then categorized and counted. There ended up being 115 different suggestions; both good and bad ones. Currently, the school district’s financial advisors are reviewing this list to see whether or not any of the ideas could be implemented in schools.
In general, I feel that this is a great idea. It is a very wise move for administrators to reach out to parents and the community for a number of reasons. First off, some parents may have good ideas for cutting costs but simply cannot have their ideas heard at the district’s board meetings. The school district really has nothing to lose because of the 115 suggestions a few of the ideas should be able to save money. It also takes some pressure off of the administrators because parents will then realize just how difficult it is to come up with creative ways to save money. This process gives everyone a voice, so there really is no excuse for parents whining how they cannot make a difference when they have good ideas. In reality, most of the ideas are probably useless because they are either impractical or simply cannot be executed without a decrease in the quality of education. It is vital that the district has the ideas reviewed by its financial advisors because most of the good ideas that seem to work still may be unable to be implemented due to several reasons.
More school districts across the country should also try this technique to gather ideas for cutting costs. They may be surprised to discover that there are some good suggestions out there for saving money. One other way districts could look for crafty ways to reduce costs would be to look at the ways other school districts all over the country are finding ways to save. Schools all across America have faced cuts in federal funding and if school districts can learn from each other, then they can get more bang for their buck.
It will be interesting to see if any of the 115 suggestions can actually be used in the school district. I feel that the results will be promising. At college, professors and courses would always be graded at the end of each semester in order to make changes for the next year. The college used the feedback given by students and courses would be restructured then every few years to ensure a high quality of learning. It is good to see how other institutions are adopting the same technique of reaching out to others for ideas to improve. This should definitely be practiced more in the education field and schools all over should by saying, “Help us to help you.”