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State Auditor report identifies ineffective outside-the-classroom spending

State Auditor Shad White. Photo by News Mississippi

This week, a report from State Auditor Shad White detailed the results of a pilot program identifying ineffective outside-the-classroom spending. 

The report states that Mississippi public schools could eliminate this ineffective spending to potentially redirect over $200 million to teacher salaries and classroom expenses each year. Partnering with the advanced data analytics firm GlimpseK12, the pilot project was conducted in three school districts to find ways to improve how they operate— Columbus Municipal School District, Hinds County School District, and Starkville Oktibbeha Consolidated School District. 

Across the three school districts that volunteered, GlimpseK12 identified opportunities to eliminate ineffective spending which would lead to annual savings of between $7.5 and $12.3 million. The spending areas with the largest opportunities for cost savings include software and digital products, maintenance, and supply chain management.

These school districts combined serve nearly 14,000 children. Together, they represent a range of municipal, county, and consolidated school systems. This level of savings spread across all public school students in the state could lead to over $200 million of eliminated outside-the-classroom waste every year.

“I’m thankful for the leadership these school districts showed by volunteering to go under the microscope in the public view,” White said. “I was happy to help these school districts identify ways they can prioritize their spending on teachers and the classroom.”

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.

This new performance audit report can be found online at the Auditor’s website.

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