Spearheaded by Superintendent Dr. Hafedh Azaiez, Round Rock Independent School District used data analytics to uncover internal inefficiencies, which led to budget adjustments that will now allow competitive salaries to recruit and retain teachers.
ROUND ROCK, Texas, April 20, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Round Rock Independent School District (ISD), a suburban school district in Austin, Texas, recently partnered with Abl, a developer of school scheduling and data analytics software to understand inequities in student instructional time, inefficiencies in staff allocation during the school day, and to uncover root causes hindering student outcomes.
Using Abl's software to analyze student courses, enrollment, attendance, and staff data, the team identified a potential $4 million in savings without reductions in staff or negatively impacting the student experience throughout the district. The $4 million will be reallocated to increase teacher salaries and streamline the student experience within the school district.
The analysis revealed that instructional time varied widely from campus to campus, and at times within the same school. In one elementary school, the analysis found that one student would receive as many as 57 more hours of literacy instruction and 42 more hours of math instruction over the course of the year than a student in a class across the hall. The district had previously unveiled a "Strategic Support Campuses" to provide additional support, including additional stipends and compensation to recruit and retain talented teachers at those campuses and the Abl data not only confirmed that the right campuses had been identified, but also outlined exactly where additional support should be targeted.
For Round Rock ISD's high schools, the school district identified $1 million in potential savings based solely on how schools budgeted by class size. The data analysis revealed that the district had been inaccurately allocating funding based on the assumption that the average class size was 26. Data demonstrated that the true class size was, on average, only 24 when basing on actual student course requests. Correcting this data point in determining the school district's budget allowed for the $1 million in cost savings. Other potential savings were identified through adjustments to the high school schedule and ensuring teachers have comparable student loads.
"I think most districts across the nation are facing budget deficits. Inflation is rising and costs are going higher and higher, but our basic allotment from the state remains the same," Azaiez said. "We must be strategic to find avenues to increase the salaries of our teachers and that's exactly where the savings we've identified will go."
Across the country, Abl's tools are used in large districts in a myriad of ways to streamline operational complexities and increase access to accelerated and advanced courses that better prepare students for postsecondary options.
"As school districts recover from the pandemic Abl will continue to provide our best-in-class data analytics to support teacher retention efforts, expand equitable access to high quality pathways, and increase postsecondary and career opportunities for students," says Abl CEO, Howard Bell.
Abl empowers districts to fulfill the promise of education by simplifying complex operational processes. We expose and disrupt ineffective and inequitable pathways through data analysis and intelligent tools so districts can intentionally design flexible and responsive schools that allow students to own their futures. Learn more at ablschools.com.
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