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Audit reports ways to save millions of dollars in three Mississippi school districts

Shad White Mississippi
Photo courtesy of Shad White

State Auditor Shad White’s office has released the results from three new performance audits showing how three school districts in Mississippi could save taxpayers millions of dollars annually.

Data analytics firm GlimpseK12 analyzed data from the Greenwood Leflore Consolidated School District, Kemper County School District, and South Pike School District using funds from the State Auditor’s Office. Each district was evaluated to determine how taxpayer money could best be utilized each year.

“As a product of our public schools and the son and grandson of public school teachers, I think it’s important to know when our schools are using money wisely and when they are not,” White said. “As State Auditor, I know the taxpayers deserve information about where our schools can spend more efficiently.”

Here are the results of cost-saving measures recommended for each school district:

  • Expensive educational software purchased by the school districts should either be used or have the subscription suspended. Notably, much of the software in question is proven to be highly effective for the few students who do use it.
  • Bus routes in the school districts could be optimized to reduce operational costs.
  • The districts could sell costly unused buildings or right-size maintenance staff to reduce maintenance costs.
  • The districts should actually put the laptops and tablets they purchased into use.
  • School districts could automate manual administrative functions to save time and money.

The OSA conducted similar analyses in three other school districts in 2021, with the results showing that up to $200 million in taxpayer dollars could be saved by school districts statewide. Previous reports from the State Auditor’s office showed ballooning outside-the-classroom spending, a comparison of education spending in other states, and priority given to administrative pay raises.

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