As Education Watchdog for the people of Texas, I not only want to look at what school districts are doing wrong, but also share what they are doing right.
I directed my Texas School Performance Review (TSPR) staff to create a database of the best ideas found during their nine years of reviewing Texas school districts.
Starting this month, you will be able to visit our Window on State Government Web site and learn more about what other school districts are doing with our new A+ Ideas for Managing Schools (AIMS) database. Each entry will include the location, budget and enrollment sizes of each school district so that visitors can compare their school districts to similar ones
Education, not administration, should be the focus of Texas school system. Currently, only 52 cents of every education dollar goes toward classroom instruction. That's unacceptable. One of my 10 Principles for Texas in the 21st Century is to direct more of every education dollar into the classroom. That is why I cut my overall agency budget request by more than $2 million but received legislative authority to redirect $1 million from within the agency into the Texas School Performance Reviews. In addition, State Representative Scott Hochberg sponsored legislation adding $900,000 to the TSPR budget, expanding the number of reviews conducted in fiscal year 2000 to 10 and to 20 in fiscal year 2001.
Since TSPR was created in 1991, we have conducted in-depth, on-site management reviews of 45 Texas school districts serving 1.2 million students, or nearly 29 percent of the states 4 million public school students. More than $485 million in five-year net savings have been identifiedsavings that can be directed back to the classroom, where it belongs.
TSPRs new database will sort by each of the 12 areas studiedfrom administration to food service to safetyso educators can find new, innovative ways to deliver these services at lower costs.
I hope you will visit this database on my Web site at www.window.state.tx.us. If you have any questions or would like to comment on what you see, you can contact my TSPR staff by e-mail at email@example.com.
CAROLE KEETON RYLANDER
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts