Yesterday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced a new initiative he hoped would encourage school districts in the state to share costs and ultimately savings in the business of public education. His incentive: money.
I think it’s brilliant. And while I pinpointed the proliferation of partnerships and consolidation of services for this year’s Education Vital Signs, I could not have seen and did not guess it would spawn yet another education trend, though at the moment Texas seems to be only one offering state funds— a grant equal to 10 percent of a district’s first-year savings—for districts that pool their resources. But I can see that changing quickly.
After all, it doesn’t take rocket science— some basic business sense, perhaps— to understand the economies of scale that can be achieved by buying in bulk and spreading the cost out among multiple parties.
That’s why group tickets cost less, a trip to Costco (though temporarily bankrupting) will save you more in the long run, and why it’s always cheaper by the dozen (sorry, had to throw that one in.)
But what’s truly innovative, at least in education, is that Texas — which, yes, thumbed its nose at RTTT funds and is currently haggling with the Feds over how it should spend it’s share of the $10 billion Education Jobs money— did exhibit prescience with this proposal.
Because if there’s one thing better than saving money by working with your neighbors, its getting a check from the government for the effort.
Can we make this a trend for 2011?
Naomi Dillon, Senior Editor