What if our school district's business department managed the budget like a business? What if they employed the same strategies we do when trying to balance our household budgets? What if they just tried something different?
Each year the administration begins the budget process by assuming every program and expense from the previous year should be included in this year's budget. Then they look for areas where they can cut around the edges with a goal of keeping every program and service. Once they believe they have cut out all the "waste" and found all the "savings", they turn to the critical resources. Resources like teachers, classified employees, school days, hours of instruction, and transportation.
What if they employed a budget strategy practiced by many business and most households, Zero Based Budget strategy.
What is Zero Based Budgeting (ZBB)? Here is a definition and explanation from Investipedia:
What Does Zero-Based Budgeting - ZBB Mean?
A method of budgeting in which all expenses must be justified for each new period. Zero-based budgeting starts from a "zero base" and every function within an organization is analyzed for its needs and costs. Budgets are then built around what is needed for the upcoming period, regardless of whether the budget is higher or lower than the previous one.
ZBB allows top-level strategic goals to be implemented into the budgeting process by tying them to specific functional areas of the organization, where costs can be first grouped, then measured against previous results and current expectations.
Here is a link to the above text: http://www.investopedia.com/terms/z/zbb.asp
Before anymore school days are eliminated and before anymore staff are released, why don't we try something different? What could it hurt? If we can keep all our staff and not short change our kid's by reducing instructional time, wouldn't we all be better off?