Education Executive - Summer 2012 - (Page 106)
KENOSHA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 1
Spare the Students
Despite funding cutbacks, the third largest school district in Wisconsin is using technology to economize in the office and avoiding cuts in student programs.
fter only 20 months as superintendent of Kenosha Unified School District No. 1 (KUSD), Dr. Michele Hancock had helped the district staff implement enough technological improvements in the office that staff reductions were able to make up for a significant amount of the cutback in state support. “The finance department has done a lot of online technology utilization projects, where we’re saving money because of the choices we’ve made,” Hancock explains. “We don’t need as many secretaries because we’re using technology to help with that. So technology is really a strong piece for us in terms of streamlining our resources.”
Hancock was appointed superintendent in July 2010. “I came in before Gov. Walker was elected, and basically after his election and the difficult changes that occurred, I lost $557.84 per student,” Hancock notes. “That has not helped us. I have a $28 million deficit right now and the third-largest district in Wisconsin, which has led to a reduction in staff. This has also increased our class sizes, and that has been a challenge for the community.” The current allocation for each of KUSD’s 22,983 students is $9,585. “Over the past few years since I’ve been superintendent, I’ve been dealing with funding issues,” Hancock explains. One of the solutions has been to lay off or eliminate up to 14 percent of staff members and positions. “That’s why we implemented zero-based budgeting and developed a budget council to help deal with our budget issues,” she notes. Instead of modifying an established budget from the previous year, zero-based budgeting brings a fresh start to the process by justifying each line item’s expenditure starting at zero.
One area in which Hancock found economies was in the purchasing department. “When we looked at the full department, instead of purchasing online, they were using older, paper-based methods,” she recalls. Data was poorly organized, files and binders were bursting with paper, critical information was difficult to collect and systems were not well-integrated.
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“When I came here and found we were using secretaries in outdated, traditional ways and not using technology, I hired a new chief financial officer, and she analyzed what types of systems we had and how we could really streamline them,” Hancock remembers. Now each school orders its own supplies online, and digital spreadsheets replaced paper forms. Kenosha Unified School District No. 1 processes more than 4,500 accounts payable transactions per month. To reduce invoice cycle time, the district has implemented an accounts payable structure and
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Executive - Summer 2012
Education Executive - Summer 2012
Can't Live Without It
Broadening the Student Experience
Upgrading Facilities on Tight Budgets
Haylor, Freyer & Coon ◆ N.Y.
Anne Arundel Community College ◆ MD
Humber College ◆ Ont.
Grove City College ◆ PA
Broome Community College ◆ N.Y.
Coastal Carolina University ◆ S.C.
Cuyahoga Community College ◆ Ohio
Ottawa University ◆ Kan.
Brazosport College ◆ Texas
Idaho State University ◆ Idaho
Hillsborough Community College ◆ Fla.
Post University ◆ Conn.
Union College ◆ N.Y.
University of New Mexico ◆ N.M.
Naperville School District 203 ◆ Ill.
Santa Barbara Unified School District ◆ Calif.
Acadia Parish School Board ◆ LA
Mounds View Public Schools ◆ Minn.
Central Community School District ◆ LA
Chelmsford Public Schools ◆ Mass.
Dennis-Yarmouth Regional School District ◆ Mass.
86elmira City Schools ◆ N.Y.
Glendora Usd ◆ Calif.
Harnett County Schools ◆ N.C.
Holmes County School District ◆ Miss.
Jefferson Parish Public School System ◆ LA
Harlandale Independent School District ◆ Texas
Kyrene School District ◆ Ariz.
Fort Huachuca Accommodation Schools #00 ◆ Ariz.
Kenosha Unified School District ◆ Wis.
Los Fresnos Consolidated Independent School District ◆ Texas
Maryland School for the Deaf ◆ MD
Mclean County District Unit No. 5 ◆ Ill.
Williamson County Schools ◆ Tenn.
Mesa Public Schools ◆ Ariz.
Palmdale School District ◆ Calif.
Plain Local School District ◆ Ohio
St. Martin Parish Schools ◆ LA
Oak Harbor School District ◆ Wash.
Anne Arundel County Public Schools ◆ MD
Vancouver Island University ◆ B.C.
Brandon School Division ◆ MB
Dalhousie University ◆ N.S.
Peace River School Division ◆ AB
University of Sudbury ◆ Ont.
Sandy Spring Friends School
The Pomfret School ◆ Conn.
Riverside Military Academy ◆ GA
The Thacher School ◆ Calif.
Education Executive - Summer 2012