Almost every state has been slashing budgets trying to balance expenses with shrinking revenues. A few governors have asked for creative ways to stretch education funding while improving learning and operating productivity. Here’s a few ideas:
Promote blended learning
- Require all students to take at least one online course each year of high school and negotiate a 10-20% discount with multiple online providers and give students/schools options.
- Provide statewide access to multiple online learning providers and reimburse at 80% of traditional schools (with performance incentives for serving challenging populations).
- Encourage K-8 schools to adopt a Rocketship-style schedule with 25% of student time in a computer learning lab and a tiered staffing model that makes long day/year affordable. A loan program to upgrade to a 1:3 computer ratio would support adoption of a blended model could be repaid out of savings.
- Promote three year high school plan with accelerated credit accumulation and free summer school.
- Promote dual enrollment (if higher ed subsidy for dual enrollment is less than public subsidy for community colleges)
Significant budget changes at the state level
- UK-style budget reform that drives budgets to school level and reduces the role of the LEA
- Consolidate small low performing districts
- Negotiate pension reform
- Provide framework/incentives for private REITs to purchase public school facilities (and provide waiver for use of proceeds to include capex to improve instructional programs). Purchases would target:
- Schools in need of major remodels
- Schools in need of energy efficiency investment
- Surplus property
- Provide higher state match for facilities designed to support double shifted and blended models with lower cost structures