How to Increase Funding for Classrooms Without Spending a Dime

State Auditor Releases Contractual and Shared Services in
K-12 Public School Districts Report

The Office of the State Auditor has released its report on the contractual and shared services within Mississippi’s K-12 public school districts today. The focus of this report is to answer the question of efficiency related to contracts and shared services in K-12 public schools.

The results show that, without question, shared services are far more efficient than contracts (not including teachers) in putting money into classrooms. To break this down even more simply, our analysis shows that the use of shared services would save up to $739 per student/per year. This is a total of more than $116 million that could be invested into classrooms across the state.

Additionally, the report shows that contracts alarmingly result in money being taken out of the classroom in the form of additional spending. The use of contracts vs shared services costs $639 extra per student/per year. Eliminating these inefficient contracts could save the state’s public K-12 system up to $107 million per year, which, like increased shared services, can put more money back into the classroom.

Finally, the Office of the State Auditor makes the following recommendations in the report:

• Centralized system for purchasing commodities and resources in the K-12 system;
• MDE should consider re-establishing the role of Purchasing Officer to aid in better procurement efficiency for K-12 districts;
• MDE and RESAs should find a way to enhance their ability to assist school districts in better buying techniques and opportunities;
• Districts should competitively bid contracts and rarely, if ever, use sole source vendors;
• K-12 school contracts should have deliverables as well as penalties and claw back features for non-compliance and non-performance;
• The legislature should consider mandating contract transparency in the K-12 school system, just as State Agencies, Universities, and Community Colleges are required to do, by requiring school districts to participate in an online, publicly accessible system.

State Auditor Stacey Pickering Press Release
9/23/15