Conservative Index Add
pagetitle

Friday, February 15th, 2019Last Update: Thursday, January 31st, 2019 08:02:19 PM

Bartlesville School Board Looks Out for Taxpayers

By: Brandon Dutcher

In June, the Bartlesville school board voted unanimously to outsource the schools’ janitorial services, the Examiner-Enterprise reports.

The current janitorial staff were being managed by the principals at each site, which Preston Birk, the district’s chief financial officer, said was ineffective. “We didn’t invent the wheel. There’s quite a few other districts larger than us and smaller than us that outsource custodial work,” Birk said. The move will save Bartlesville Public Schools $300,000 total savings in the 2017-2018 school year, but (superintendent Chuck) McCauley said he expects that number will grow.

Though some of our friends on the left may grumble about private firms profiting from public schools, the school board is to be commended for this wise stewardship of resources. Of course, taxpayers have every right to wonder: If this move will save $300,000, why wasn’t it done sooner? I realize that tight budgets often force efficiencies, but according to the latest data compiled from the Oklahoma Cost Accounting System and provided by the state Department of Education, total education spending in Bartlesville, even when adjusted for inflation, is actually higher today ($58,113,227) than it was a decade ago ($54,852,707). Per-student spending is also higher – up to $9,530 from $9,293.

In any case, the district deserves credit for making the move now. And if it makes sense to outsource custodial work, are there other services the district should be taking a look at? As Greg Forster has written for OCPA:

“There’s absolutely no reason for any sector of government to directly employ bus drivers, cafeteria workers, janitors, or any of the rest of this category. The whole enchilada needs to be privatized posthaste. You wouldn’t just eliminate unnecessary positions that are there due to featherbedding, although that’s considerable. More important, though, you’d be able to pay the market rate for the positions you kept, instead of hyperinflated civil-service salaries and benefits (think pensions). And you’d be able to fire people if they didn’t deliver good services.”

It’s worth exploring. Federal data compiled by economist Benjamin Scafidi tell us that Bartlesville has more non-teachers than teachers. Indeed, the number of non-teachers increased over the last two decades even as the number of teachers fell. Might there be another $300,000 – or more – to be found in this non-teaching overhead? Finding those savings and redirecting the money to teacher pay raises would be a win-win solution.

About Brandon Dutcher

Dutcher is Senior Vice President at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA) http://www.ocpathink.org/, which was founded in 1993 as a public policy research organization focused primarily on state-level issues. His award-winning articles have appeared in 200 newspapers throughout Oklahoma and the U.S. He can be contacted at: Brandon@ocpathink.org, at: twitter.com/brandondutcher or facebook.com/brandondutcher

Other Articles By Brandon Dutcher

What Type of School Would Oklahomans Select?

Leaders in the public-education community often point out (correctly) that the vast majority of...

New OU President Gallogly: We will not have waste on campus.

James Gallogly has been selected as the next president of the University of Oklahoma. Oklahoma...

The Higher Ed Defunding Thats Yet to Come?

Theres been much hand-wringing lately among some higher-education officials and journalists (to...

Bartlesville School Board Looks Out for Taxpayers

In June, the Bartlesville school board voted unanimously to outsource the schools janitorial...

Oklahomans Say Teachers Should Be Allowed to Vote on Unions

Getting public policy right in the area of education includes respecting teachers and freeing...

Nearly 4 in 10 Oklahoma Teachers Would Choose Private or Home Schooling for Their Own Children

When asked whats the best educational choice for their own children, one might expect near...

Oklahomans (still) Support Parental Choice in Education

An honest reading of the public-opinion survey data over the past couple of years shows that...

Other Constitution Columnists

David Deming

A Tale of Two Professors
In the Fall 2018 issue of the Oklahoma Constitution, I related the persecution of OU law professor...

Jason Murphey

Stopping the Revolving Door
It was quite the surreal moment in the Oklahoma House of Representatives! As the 2018 legislative...

Julie Wilkinson

How I Got In. How I Left.
Back in 1984, left a dysfunctional relationship with my boyfriend in Florida, and decided to move...

Steve Byas

Legislature: Rescind the Con-Con Call
Legislature: Rescind the Con-Con CallJames Madison, the father of the Constitution, said he feared...

Steve Byas

Career Politician
Far too often, political campaigns discuss matters that are really not all that important. Rather...

Tim Bakamjian

The Medicaid Mess and How to Deal with it
Medicaid is a means-tested entitlement program that is overseen by the federal government, but is...

Theodore King

The Federal Page for Winter 2019
Congresswoman Kendra HornI suppose I should offer congratulations to Congreswoman Kendra Horn on her...

Richard Engle

Abolition Making Victims into Criminals
In the recent GOP gubernatorial primary a premature retiree from the State House, Dan Fisher, ran a...

Linda Murphy

Oklahoma Education and Workforce Development
Oklahoma state government is in transition to new leadership with Gov. Kevin Stitt, Lt. Gov. Matt...

John Michener

Why Kill Bills?
Grassroots activists around the state support bills based on principle. We believe there is a right...

Charlie Meadows

What Is Wrong With Our Media?
This article will evaluate TV, local talk radio and the Oklahoman regarding the quality of...

In The News

Constitution Staff

Voters Reject Four of Five State Questions
Six statewide ballot measures were certified for the 2018 elections in Oklahoma. One measure, the...

Constitution Staff

All Judges Survive Retention Ballot
On November 6, Oklahoma voters retained four Supreme Court justices, three Court of Criminal Appeals...

Constitution Staff

Democrats Flip Oklahoma Congressional Seat
The big news coming out of the Oklahoma congressional elections was the flipping of the Fifth...

Constitution Staff

Republicans Sweep Statewide Secondary Offices
In addition to the governors office, a host of secondary statewide offices, and one seat for the...

Constitution Staff

Governor Kevin Stitt
On January 14, J. Kevin Stitt was inaugurated as the 28th governor of the State of Oklahoma. He...

Constitution Columnists

David Deming

A Tale of Two Professors
In the Fall 2018 issue of the Oklahoma Constitution, I related the persecution of OU law professor...

Jason Murphey

Stopping the Revolving Door
It was quite the surreal moment in the Oklahoma House of Representatives! As the 2018 legislative...

Julie Wilkinson

How I Got In. How I Left.
Back in 1984, left a dysfunctional relationship with my boyfriend in Florida, and decided to move...

© 2001 - 2009 The Oklahoma Constitution, all rights reserved.
Contact the Oklahoma Constitution by calling 405-366-1125 or emailing okconsti@aol.com
Content Management System (CMS) provided by WebTeks CMS.