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Efficiency Review of Arlington Schools Delayed

An item in this week’s Arlington Sun Gazette reports, “Arlington school officials will have to wait a bit to get an efficiency audit from the state government.” (online version). The item goes on to say:

“Budget cuts at the state level have caused delays in Arlington’s application for a financial and management review, Superintendent Patrick Murphy recently told School Board members.

“While school officials had hoped to have the review done in early 2011, it now looks like later in the year is the earliest such a review could be undertaken.

“Murphy said the delay was just a temporary setback. “We’re continuing to go down that path - we’re first in line,” he said.

“About one-third of Virginia’s school districts have received efficiency reviews since 2004. While some previous School Board members in Arlington were lukewarm to the idea of having local finances and management practices looked at, newer board members seem to have embraced the idea.”

The newspaper also says:

“The efficiency review has been pushed for several years by the Arlington County Taxpayers Association, which thinks any cost involved would be a small price to pay for a thorough evaluation of school system spending practices.”

You can find links to each completed Virginia school district’s efficiency review at this Virginia Department of Education webpage. In as much as the efficiency reviews follow a standard format, we would expect the APS Budget Advisory Council to be reviewing all the reviews completed to date in order to lessen the work of the consultants. By the way, the BAC meets on the second Wednesday of the month at 7:00 p.m. at the Arlington Public School Education Center, 1426 North Quincy Street. Take an opportunity to sit in on a BAC meeting. I'm sure you'll gain a better understanding of school finances than by attending a School Board meeting.

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