Phase I: Operational Efficiency Audit
The Phase I report focusing on major cost savings opportunities for HCPS consideration in the 2016-17 budget – is the first of three reports that were to be provided by Gibson Consulting Group, Inc. The Phase I Report was provided in May 2016.
Phase I: Operational Efficiency Audit – Report of Major Cost Savings Opportunities - presented to board in June 2016 - Click to read full report (PDF)
This report contains the results of Phase I. The objective of this phase was to identify major General Fundcost savings opportunities in time for incorporation into the 2016-17 budget. Only opportunities yielding greater than $1 million in potential recurring savings per year were considered in this phase; however,work in subsequent phases may also yield recommendations with this level of savings.Based on a preliminary data review by Gibson, nine areas (listed below) were identified as having potential for significant cost savings. Upon completion of our analysis, five of these areas did not generate the desired savings level and were postponed to either Phase II (Operational Audit, Comprehensive Review)or Phase III (Academic Management Audit). Accordingly, each item has a “yes” or “no” indicator for inclusion and discussion in this report.
Four areas for major cost savings were identified with a total $98.3 million in potential General Fund savings annually. These savings, which are net of investments required to successfully implement the recommendations, can be used to reduce the anticipated budget deficit and/or reinvest in academic programs or other district priorities. Savings represent estimates after full implementation, which could take several years to achieve.
- Instructional Resource Allocations to Schools ($66.2 million) – made possible by the new state law allowing HCPS to calculate average class size at the school level instead of the classroom level. This would allow HCPS to staff its schools more efficiently and achieve a pupil-teacher ratio that is commensurate with its Florida peer districts (the lower the ratio the more teachers relative to the student population).
Other factors could be contributing to the variance, including the degree of virtual learning, the number of secondary course offerings, teacher planning time, the percentage of ESE students to total enrollment, and other specialized programs with smaller class sizes.
- Clerical Staffing ($6.1 million) – compared to its Florida peer districts, HCPS has more clerical staff relative to the student population (the lower the ratio the more clerical staff relative to the student population).
The majority of savings can be achieved at the central office. Several factors appear to be contributing to these levels of clerical staff at the HCPS central office:
- Voicemail systems are underutilized; secretaries answer phones
- There is a proliferation of manual processes for time and attendance reporting and payroll processing
- Clerical job descriptions and related work processes have not changed with technology developments
- Custodial Staffing ($10.4 million) – the HCPS staffing formula for custodians does not reflect industry standards for productivity, resulting in an inefficient and overstaffed custodial function.
The staffing formula needs to be changed to support a higher level of coverage for each custodian. A more centralized management approach is also recommended to sustain or improve service levels, along with the standardization of work schedules and cleaning frequencies, routine quality inspections, and the purchase of additional equipment that supports greater work efficiency.
- Transportation ($15.6 million) – six opportunities exist to achieve cost savings in Transportation, some of which may require union contract negotiation:
- Implementing a timekeeping system for bus drivers to enter actual work time ($1.3 million)
- Increasing the staggering of bell schedules ($2.7 million)
- Phasing out courtesy transportation for secondary school students ($9.5 million)
- Reducing bus driver absenteeism ($1 million)
- Reducing bus driver and vehicle maintenance staff overtime pay ($1.1 million)
- Require school buses to be parked at HCPS transportation facilities (to be determined)