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ERIC Number: EJ909136
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Dec
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0036-6439
Investing in the Central Office
Shields, Regis Anne
School Administrator, v67 n11 p22-24 Dec 2010
Benchmarking against similar districts, ideally higher-performing ones, can be a valuable tool for determining the appropriate level of central-office investment. Unfortunately, reliable benchmarks on district spending in teaching and learning support are not readily available. This should not preclude districts from using this valuable method to assess levels of investment. To defend against budget cuts, school districts must be prepared with powerful arguments in support of central-office spending. Using publicly available data to benchmark spending can yield long-term benefits. So how can districts use benchmarks to accurately compare investments and use that information to take strategic action? Simply capturing costs at the central-office headquarters or reviewing costs along organizational chart lines puts districts at risk of making apples-to-oranges comparisons. Instead, strategic decisions on central-office spending require districts to: (1) look beyond the four walls of the central office to adequately define spending; (2) use the right metrics to ensure that spending misalignments are not masked; and (3) measure for transformation and not just efficiency. The author contends that using the appropriate metrics and benchmarks can help to tell a powerful story and guard against cutbacks that may undermine school progress for years to come.
American Association of School Administrators. 801 North Quincy Street Suite 700, Arlington, VA 22203-1730. Tel: 703-528-0700; Fax: 703-841-1543; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Administrators
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A