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.
“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.”