Schools Volunteer for Intense Evaluation

Article excerpt

Byline: Anne Williams The Register-Guard

The Eugene School District is one of four districts in Oregon that will throw open its doors and books later this spring for a thorough review of its business operations.

Through a collaboration of the Chalkboard Project and the Oregon Association of School Business Officials, a team of outside auditors will review district documents and conduct extensive interviews during a three- to five-day visit. The audit will cover a range of non-instructional operations, including transportation, facilities, maintenance, human resources, food services, community relations, risk management and finance and accounting.

"We always want to be as efficient as possible in the district, and since the Measure 5 cuts have occurred, it's really been difficult for us to coordinate with other departments and make sure we are efficient," district Finance Director Susan Fahey said, referring to the 1990 property tax limitation measure. "We see this as a real opportunity."

The Beaverton district was the first to volunteer for a review last fall. A team of 20-plus auditors, among them business managers and experts from the private sector, the Oregon School Boards Association and other school districts, recently released its report, which describes generally excellent practices but suggests, among other things, that the district make better use of technology. …