TUSD to spend $500,000 on efficiency audits

2013-10-23T00:00:00Z TUSD to spend $500,000 on efficiency auditsBy Alexis Huicochea Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

TUSD will spend $500,000 on outside consultants to determine how efficient Tucson’s largest school district is, and how effective its instructional programming is, the Governing Board unanimously agreed Tuesday.

Tucson Unified School District Superintendent H.T. Sanchez said they will help provide an impartial view of “what we are doing well that we need to continue doing and where our opportunities for improvement exist.”

The $300,000 efficiency audit will review TUSD’s performance and staffing levels to determine their adequacy, efficiency and effectiveness as compared against best practices in optimal-run districts.

The findings are to include the district’s strengths and weaknesses, recommendations for changes and improvements to improve the delivery of educational services.

Areas to be audited include: human resources, finance, purchasing, payroll, benefits, risk management, operations, transportation, preventative maintenance, custodial, school safety, facilities, food services, governing board operations and technology services.

It will also determine optimal school sizes and school configurations — an issue that TUSD has struggled with over the years as enrollment has continuously declined and nearly two dozen campuses have been shut. A report is expected in December, with a presentation to the Governing Board in January.

The $200,000 curriculum audit will cover all grade levels and will determine the curricular and instructional staff capacity of teachers, administrators and the central office. It will also determine the efficacy of existing instructional programs, strategies and intervention services.

The vendor — Curriculum Management Systems, Inc. — is expected to take nine to 12 weeks to complete the audit.

Contact reporter Alexis Huicochea at ahuicochea@azstarnet.com or 573-4175. On Twitter @AlexisHuicochea

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