If you’ve ever worked in the education field, you’re sure to have felt the effects of budget cuts. Perhaps no other industry in the world struggles to balance a budget quite like K12 school districts. The problem is simple, educating children is expensive, and school districts rely on federal, state, and local taxes for most of their funding. Sometimes school districts end the year with a surplus, but oftentimes, there are huge deficits that have to be dealt with and quickly.
Remember, not every dollar goes to direct costs like technology, curriculum, and teacher salaries. A huge portion of it also goes to indirect costs like building maintenance, utilities, transportation, and security.
And indirect costs are certainly not cheap. Roughly 28% of all school buildings in the United States were built before 1950 and another 45% were built between 1950 and 1969. This means that a vast majority of our public school buildings in the United States are old, outdated, and in need of major repairs.
In fact, in 2017, The American Society of Civil Engineers only gave the public school system a D+ due to the major infrastructural issues they found in so many of its school buildings. And infrastructure problems contribute to a huge increase in how much money it costs per year just for maintenance, heating and cooling, ventilation upgrades, electricity, and roof leaks to name a few.
So it stands to reason that the fewer times school buildings are open throughout the year, the less money is wasted on indirect costs and can be put to better use in the budget. And that’s why virtual summer school is the one hack brick and mortar schools should use to save a ton of money annually.
Just by opening the doors to in-person summer school each year, administrators are committing themselves to spend more than $1 million out of their budgets while only a tiny portion of that is going to teacher salaries and classroom materials.
It makes much more sense from a financial standpoint, to hold virtual summer school, and allow teachers to use virtual classrooms to catch their students up before the next school year begins.
Not only would it save a ton of money on indirect costs, but both the students and the teachers wouldn’t be dealing with poor building conditions during the hottest days of the year and can instead focus on what matters most — education.
The cost of partnering with educational technology companies, like Jigsaw Interactive, is pennies compared to what it costs to run large school buildings all summer.
And the virtual learning experiences students receive during virtual summer school prepare them for technology integration later in life — both in blended learning classrooms and in future careers. Plus, the best teachers in the district are far more likely to accept summer school positions when they receive proper training on virtual teaching software and are able to educate their students from the comfort of their own homes. Just one more reason virtual summer school is such an advantageous hack for school districts.