As study after study shows, Ohio ranks among the lowest of the states in putting money into classrooms where it belongs rather than in administrative costs. Governor Kasich believes that this should change and has been working to provide local governments and school districts with the tools to control their costs and provide better services. Below is a preview from a recent Dayton Daily News story:
Centerville is one of the area’s largest school districts, but it spends the smallest share of education funding on administration, according to a Dayton Daily News examination of 31 districts in Montgomery, Greene, Miami, Warren, Preble and Clark counties.
Another big suburban district — Northmont — ranked first for the share of money going toward classroom instruction, while Dayton Public was at the other end of the spectrum, ranking lowest for the percentage of money being funneled into the classroom. Dayton spends more per-pupil overall than any other district.
“We haven’t hired more administrators so we could put money into the classroom,” Centerville City Schools Superintendent Tom Henderson said. “That’s always been our focus.”
Gov. John Kasich has made it a priority to do something about the low marks Ohio gets for classroom spending. In his State of the State address, the governor said, “More dollars in the classroom instead of bureaucracy will improve our schools.”
Kasich’s aide Rob Nichols also said that as part of the school report cards, the governor wants the state to rank districts based on the share of administrative and instructional spending.
Some districts have taken definitive steps toward reducing administrative costs. Centerville, for example, has no assistant principals in its elementary or middle schools.
At Northmont, business manager Bob McClintock pointed to the district’s decentralized administrative process as one of the reasons his district can devote 63.7 percent of its budget toward instruction, highest of the 31 districts studied.
In the district of about 5,400 students, the principals come up with the budgets for their schools.
“It eliminates the need for having a lot of extra people running around helping them make decisions,” said McClintock, who previously worked for a company that made products for General Motors.
“I really saw the value of a team working to eliminate bureaucracy,” he said.
You can read the entire story here.