Preparing the Way

It has been a while since I have blogged. Lots of graduations. Lots of excessed employees. Lots of emotions.. Budget hearings.. etc..

July 1st, the SCS will be officially merged into one district. Now that the hard merger work for the board is almost complete, we turn our attention to the future. That would involve strategic planning for the short and long-term for the district. Number 1 on the list are:

Municipal Districts

Most of the banter surrounding municipal districts really has been about buildings and their transfer. However, there is a broader issue that we must deal with in relation to buildings and that involves ASD, Charter, and Municipal districts.

The other piece of the solution resides in fixed infrastructure and capital investments the SCS has made into services. Examples are transportation, nutrition, custodial, IT, special ed… Many of these areas do not scale easily and result in a net operating loss to the district if we do not recoup some money when new schools come on-line.

The reality is that a win-win exists for all for these situations. I brought these up last night at the facilities meeting and seemed to get good support.

1) The SCS creates a portfolio of services to offer ASD, Charter and Municipal schools. It is very much like the Fedex model with Fedex Services providing back-end office solutions to each of the Fedex operating companies and billing back for those services. It is the perfect example of shared collaboration and capital infrastructure. It creates a turn-key solution for new schools and it helps the SCS off-set fixed cost at a revenue neutral position.

2) Buildings would be nothing more than a piece of infrastructure that will be used by these new schools. The use of the property should create no cost to the SCS. So that means all deferred maintenance would get passed on to the new schools but since an entire school is transferred, the cost of maintaining the building will no longer reside with the SCS.

 

 

No matter what the final solution, I believe an important driver is for the SCS to strike a revenue/cost neutral deal. We should not profiteer from these solutions but we should also not take a bath over them either.

In preparation, I have asked business operations and innovation department to begin running models to create a portfolio of services as a turn-key solution for these districts and distill it down to a cost per child. That analysis will not begin in earnest until August but we have at lease started the discussion.

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