Thursday, January 27, 2011

State Sen. Spence introduces savings measure for schools

Finding money for the classroom is becoming more and more difficult amid declining revenue for the state and a drop in property tax collections. The GOP’s Sen. Nancy Spence, of Centennial, says a measure she introduced this week could produce significant savings for school districts that could then be redirected into the classroom.

Senate Bill 79 directs school districts with enrollment of 10,000 or more to seek competitive bids for non-instructional services. That means the likes of food and custodial services could be contracted out at a savings. Spence said looking to the marketplace to cut costs only makes sense.

“I get tired of hearing about school districts complaining about budget woes when there may be opportunities for cost savings within the district that could be applied toward the classroom,” said Spence.

The money that is saved could then flow into instruction, she said.

“It’s about keeping more dollars in the classroom,” said Spence, who is a former, longtime school board member. She says realizing potential cost savings would help keep class sizes small.

Outsourcing non-instructional services to the private market is not likely to be embraced by the education community, says Sen. Evie Hudak, D-Arvada, vice chair of the Senate Education Committee. Hudak cites local control and union issues as possible points of contention.

SB 79 has been assigned to the Senate State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee, rather than the education committee, where it will receive its first hearing.

Via - Colorado News Agency

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