Searching for School Savings

By Charles K. Trainor

In 1996, Tom Cruise starred in the box office hit, “Jerry McGuire.” A successful sports agent, Jerry questions the unethical behavior of his firm and strikes out on his own.

A prospective client, attempting to negotiate a better contract, demands that Jerry scream “Show me the money!” again and again. Jerry acquires new insights, applies his talent, and ultimately succeeds.

During the recession, school board members have demanded that state legislators, administrators, and grant writers show them the money so urgently needed to support education. Again and again, boards are challenged by declining property values, rising tax rates, unfunded mandates, lower sales tax receipts, tax caps, ballooning pension costs, and declining state and federal aid.

Financial pressures have wreaked havoc with school budgets. Nevertheless, boards and administrators around the country demonstrated dedication, resourcefulness, and creativity. They identified new strategies to cut costs and generate new funding to protect their district’s mission.

Let’s take a look at several innovative programs that may inspire your board to continue the search for savings.

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