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Beaverton School District

Oregon

District Information

53
$630.4 million
39,488
36%
Suburban

The Challenge

Beaverton was hit hard by the Great Recession. As the economy and revenues began to recover, the district wanted to use its replenished funds wisely.

Outcomes

Identified biggest academic opportunities and made investments in areas that helped students most. The new way of planning and budgeting contributed to students making the highest gain in test scores of any district in Oregon and an all-time high in its graduation rates.
Carl Mead, Deputy Superintendent
“Our ability to see and understand the big picture from both an academic and budget lens provided administrators a clear connection to the work of our strategic plan and provided resources to our schools and students with the greatest needs. This focus and understanding on equity moved us from words to action throughout our school district.”
Carl Mead, Deputy Superintendent

Beaverton School District, in Oregon, was hit hard by the Great Recession. As the economy, and District revenues, began to recover, the District wanted to use its replenished funds wisely. The District therefore embarked on the Smarter School Spending journey. Not all stakeholders were immediately enthusiastic and there were twists and turns along the way, but Beaverton was, ultimately, able to identify its highest priority academic opportunities and make targeted investments in areas that helped students most. The new approach to planning and budgeting contributed to students making the highest gain in test scores of any school district in the state and Beaverton reaching an all-time high in its graduation rates.

Highlights

  • Beaverton used root cause analysis to find the underlying barriers to student achievement and address those with smart, targeted investments
  • Beaverton used pilot tests and gathered feedback to refine their academic strategies, which helped Beaverton make the wisest spending choices.
  • Finance and academic staff worked more closely together than ever before to direct resources to where they are most needed.
  • Smarter School Spending contributed to students making the highest gain in test scores of any school district in Oregon and Beaverton reaching an all-time high in its graduation rates.

Lessons Learned

  • Every school district has its strengths. Find yours and build on them.
  • Helping students learn is central. Finances are important, but shouldn’t be central.
  • Customize Smarter School Spending to meet your needs.
  • The process of planning is most important. Planning documents are secondary.