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Smart Ways to Reduce School Budgets

By: Maria Werner-- 2015-12-29 11:37 am --

Schools across the U.S. are grappling with budget cuts and striving to provide quality education, despite dwindling funds. The budgets of schools have been on the decline, with most states continuing to fund schools less than before the recession. While school boards are powerless over the funding they receive, there are some innovative ways to reduce overhead costs, save money, and stretch school budgets further. Here are some ways to cut your school budget without compromising educational quality.  

Encourage Parents to Volunteer
Most parents love to be involved in their children’s education, and yet some need an added push to show up. Regularly reach out to parents, encouraging them to chaperone field trips and volunteer in the classroom. Some schools make parent engagement mandatory, and all parents are required to sign up for at least one volunteer day a year. This lessons the cost of labor, keeps parents involved in their children’s education, and provides added supervision for children. Increased class sizes often accompany budget cuts. With parent volunteers, teachers can accommodate the larger classes, while still providing each child with the one-on-one help they need.

Buy All School Supplies in Bulk
On average, a school with 100 teachers spends about $25,000 on paper alone. Add to that the textbooks, rulers, glue, poster board, chalk, and everything else a school needs to thrive. Needless to say, a large portion of the budget is going toward supplies. By purchasing all of the needed supplies from wholesalers, schools can stock up on large quantities of each item, and drastically reduce their overall spending.

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
While there are a lot of great reasons to reduce your carbon footprint, the money you’ll save is reason enough. Remember when I said that a school with 100 teachers spends $25,000 on paper? They spend an additional $7,500 on the energy costs of printing that paper. By switching to compact-fluorescent lightbulbs and replacing all appliances with their energy-saving counterparts, schools can considerably reduce their electric bills for decades to come.

Host Fundraisers for Enrichment Activities
When school budgets are cut, enrichment activities are one of the first areas to be impacted. Field trips, clubs, and school dances provide children with hands-on prosocial learning experiences that help to solidify the skills they learn throughout the year. Yet, they are often viewed as superfluous and are the first to be eliminated when finances are tight. If your school is struggling to afford enrichment activities, consider hosting fundraisers to gather the money you need. A school fundraiser provides a fun and engaging event for families, while having the potential to raise critical assets for the school.

Teach Children to Be Independent
The average janitor is paid about $28,620 per year, and most schools employ multiple janitors. By incorporating cleanup time into every school day, schools can reduce the need for janitorial staff, while instilling a sense of independence and responsibility in children. At the end of each school day, implement a 10-minute cleanup period for classes. Children will learn the importance of picking up after themselves, while schools can reduce their dependency on custodial labor.

 Schools may be powerless over funding, but they aren’t completely powerless of their budget. With a bit of ingenuity, schools can cut back on labor, reduce energy costs, and save money on supplies, all while providing the same level of education to kids. Explore a vast selection of bulk school supplies today, and find the best prices on a variety of craft materials, office supplies, and educational resources.