State Auditor recommends cost-saving steps for Hinds County School District

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HINDS COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – On Thursday, Mississippi State Auditor Shad White released an audit report on the Hinds County School District (HCSD). According to the report, the district could implement improvements and cut outside-the-classroom spending to save up to $3.7 million annually.

The school district partnered with the State Auditor’s office to analyze expenditure data and identify ineffective spending.

“Hinds County Superintendent Martin personally volunteered the Hinds County School District for this project,” said White. “I’m grateful for her leadership and the chance to help the district find ways to put more money in the classroom and toward teacher’s salaries.”

White’s office also partnered with the advanced data analytics firm GlimpseK12 for this performance audit. The firm used data provided by the district to compare HCSD expenditures to other school districts from across the region and country. Highlights from the report include:

  • Data showed certain education software programs are underutilized by students and teachers. Underutilized software licenses cost the district nearly $100,000 each year.
  • The district recently reduced the number of schools operating in the district, and this led to savings for the district’s transportation services. However, data shows HCSD could optimize its transportation system to realize over $800,000 of additional savings each year.
  • The report shows the district’s maintenance cost per square foot is significantly higher than similar school districts across the region and nation. By bringing these costs in line with similar schools in the Southeast, the district could save nearly $1 million each year.
  • Within HCSD, most purchases are made by individual schools or district departments. While some of these purchases are made by taking competitive bids, the district does not have any standard bidding template. GimpseK12 recommends consolidating purchasing into a district-wide function, which could lead to a 20% reduction in the cost of commonly purchased goods and services.

“We are proud to report that the Hinds County School District remains on strong financial footing,” said Superintendent Martin. “The guidance shared by GlimpseK12 will help us to continue our efforts to effectively invest public funds in efforts that ensure every student in our district has access to the resources they need to succeed.”

This new performance audit report can be found online.

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