DOE consolidates after schools audit
The move will not result in any jobs lost and all functions of the programs remain
The Department of Education is consolidating 38 programs into 11 to streamline operations and reduce duplication, school officials say.
The consolidation is in response to an audit by accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers that found many programs overlap and many others suffer from inadequate monitoring of their effectiveness and inadequate oversight of spending.
"What we're looking at are those programs that that have fundamental elements or common core functions," said Superintendent Patricia Hamamoto. The aim, she said, is to manage the programs better, track the money expended on them and determine whether the programs are meeting their intended goals.
"Is this rearranging the chairs on the deck or is this actual streamlining?" Board of Education member Karen Knudsen asked during yesterday's meeting of the Budget and Fiscal Accountability Committee.
Hamamoto said that with one person in charge instead of two or three, duplication can be eliminated since everybody who works in the program will know what everybody else is doing. She said there will be less paperwork and more opportunity to pool resources.
The biggest consolidation groups the 14 programs -- administration and curriculum functions of the department's seven school districts -- into a single program. Four separate programs involved in recruitment and retention of teachers become one. Most of the rest of the consolidation combines two different programs with similar functions.
All of the program functions will remain, nobody will have to move and no positions will be lost.
One of the other actions the department is taking requires managers to monitor their programs' impact, effect and expenditures.
The department has promised the Board of Education to present periodic updates on its progress in addressing the audit's findings.