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ERIC Number: ED541786
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Sep
Pages: 52
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 15
Realigning Resources for District Success: Duval County Public Schools Final Report
Travers, Jonathan; Ferris, Kristen
Education Resource Strategies
Duval County Public Schools (DCPS) is poised to take action today that will lead to serving all students more effectively. Although the challenges are significant, including deep budget cuts, the district made the strategic choice to look thoroughly at how resources are currently allocated and now has a foundation for making decisions that will lead to greater teaching effectiveness, more successful turnaround schools, and targeted attention for students who need it most. This report lays out what has to be done, why and how. It shows that DCPS will have to make tough trade-offs, continue to work hard and to make the most of exceptional community support. It won't be easy, but the return on investment for the students of Duval County and the community more broadly warrants the effort. Like most school districts in the United States, DCPS has experienced deep budget cuts over the last few years and faces additional cuts in the near future. While dollars are decreasing, expectations for school and student performance are increasing with the transition to common core standards and more robust accountability systems. Duval County, like many districts, also faces a significant achievement gap between higher poverty and minority students and their peers. Rather than do less with a shrinking budget, DCPS must rethink resources to do more, both raising the bar and closing the gap. Complicating the issue is that DCPS's current resources are both few and inflexible. At $8.5K per pupil, DCPS is one of the lowest funded districts ERS has studied. And, DCPS currently spends the lowest share on central management functions and highest share on instruction of peer districts--meaning that closing future budget gaps will be exceptionally difficult without reducing spending on schools in some way. Florida's class size requirement has forced the district to spread resources broadly to support more uniform class sizes, rather than target funding to specific needs. At the school level, principals are forced to invest more in the quantity of teachers vs. the quality of instruction. Given these constraints, DCPS must aggressively shift resources to maximize the full potential of its existing time, people, and money. Raising the bar for all students while also closing the gap will require improving teaching effectiveness system-wide, and organizing time and staff in new ways that target resources to highest need areas. This report describes how DCPS, even with its low funding level, can reduce costs, rethink resource use, and make limited new investments that will improve teaching effectiveness and overall student performance. Appended are: (1) ERS Methodology Overview; (2) Summary of Implications for District Policies, Processes, and Structures; (3) Other Opportunities; and (4) List of "Spotlight" Schools. (Contains 19 figures and 35 footnotes.) [Funding for this paper was provided by the Jacksonville Public Education Fund and the Duval County Public Schools. For "Realigning Resources for District Success: Duval County Public Schools Final Report. Executive Summary," see ED541790.
Education Resource Strategies. 480 Pleasant Street Suite C-200, Watertown, MA 02472. Tel: 617-607-8000; Fax: 617-600-6613; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Education Resource Strategies
Identifiers - Location: Florida; United States