School finance is a hot topic on campuses and in school board meetings across the country as districts are being forced to make tough decisions about what to cut or how to spread funding to cover more programs.
As other spending priorities have encroached on state and local dollars, education funding has taken a big hit. In fact, according to a recent Education Week analysis looking at how much U.S. states spend on education, more than half received an F grade – and just seven states earned an A or A-. (You can find a breakdown of the state grades here.)
So, what can be done? The answer might be in your support services budget.
In nearly 50 years of serving educational institutions across the country, SSC has found several places schools can look to save money that can be put straight back into the classroom.
1. Benefit and retirement costs
Outsourcing is a scary word to some people, but contracting your support services can keep employees in their jobs while also helping schools save money – a win-win. You keep your valued employees, but we take the HR responsibilities off your plate by handling retirement, benefit and workers’ comp costs.
Outsourcing custodial services “helped save us significant dollars and eliminated all personnel headaches in that department,” said Darrell G. Floyd, a superintendent in Texas. “The end result is cleaner buildings for our students and teachers. That’s what we’re after.”
Eighty percent of a support services department’s budget is labor. But there are ways to trim that cost without letting go of employees.
Our programs leverage technology to make each employee more productive, and we use safety training to curb accidents, which results in schools that are cleaner, safer and more efficient – saving time and money.
3. Deferred maintenance
Putting off maintenance can cost you dearly in the long run. It’s estimated that every $1 not spent on preventive maintenance results in $4 in repairs and replacements down the road.
We use a computerized maintenance management system to monitor all of our systems and improve our work order efficiency and the PM process.
A robust preventive maintenance program helps schools extend the life expectancy of equipment and minimize untimely and expensive system failures.
You know the phrase “work smarter, not harder?” It pays off. Compass Group’s analytics team, E15, helps companies and school districts across the country make data-based decisions about everything from energy usage to the right time to propose a bond referendum, all based on market research.
There’s no easy answer to school funding problems, but we can help you save on support services so you can worry about what matters most: educating your students.
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