This morning Hillsborough County School Board members received the Phase II summary of the Gibson Consulting Group's Operational Efficiency Audit report in preparation for a school board workshop tomorrow, October 11.
In the spring of 2015, Superintendent Jeff Eakins and school board members began mapping out a new direction for the eighth largest school system in the nation serving more than 207,000 students. The five-year Strategic Plan, unveiled in November 2015, included a new mission and new vision placing students and families at the top of the organizational structure.
The four new strategic priorities: increased graduation rates, communication with stakeholders, building strong culture and relationships, and a foundation of financial stewardship were assigned Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to set district goals and monitor progress towards them.
A month later, Eakins and the board members selected the Gibson Consulting Group as a tool to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of district practices and procedures as the district began a massive transition of both operations and structure required to eventually meet the ambitious goal of a 100% graduation rate.
The audit, costing $818,000.00, would be performed in three phases beginning January 2016 for Phase I and Phase II followed by Phase III ending February 2017. The Phase I audit report was presented to the school board last June.
Phase II of the audit analyzed the operational areas of: board governance, district administration, management and use of school facilities, financial management, human resources management, technology management, and transportation management.
Gibson projects the district could save as much as $47 million by the 2019-2020 school-year by implementing the proposed 55 recommendations from the Phase II report combined with the recommendations from Phase I. To fully maximize savings, Gibson recommended a one-time investment of $28,805,000.00 and other further investments in subsequent years.
Data collected by Gibson for Phase II included data supplied by the district, school site visits, focus groups, interviews with district staff and both national and state peer data. Gibson used KPIs from the Council of the Great City Schools Managing for Results containing self-reported data by major school systems nationally. Recommendations for technology management were also pulled from a prior comprehensive study back in 2013.
Gibson benchmarked several areas as best practices, including the district’s strong strategic plan, electronic purchasing process and programs, teacher recruitment and alternative certification for special education teachers.
The workshop is scheduled to begin at 9:00 a.m. in the Raymond O. Shelton School Administrative Center, 901 East Kennedy Boulevard, Tampa.