Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Metro Poised for Deep Dive Into MNPS Operations

Posted By on Tue, Oct 22, 2013 at 7:30 AM

According to Metro documents, plans to audit Nashville Schools’ operations look to include everything from the district’s hiring and firing practices to how officials evaluate whether their programs are working.

Council members are expected to approve the scope of an audit of the 83,000-student school district at an audit committee meeting today. The district last saw an audit of this magnitude 12 years ago. School board members have said they’re on board with a large-scale audit of the district, although they said they didn’t want the school system to pay for it.

According to a draft of the audit request, the inspection would comb through various aspects of the school system such as organization and management, education service delivery, human capital, financial and facilities management, food services, transportation, safety and security and technology.

The probe would also examine staffing, spending, the efficiency of sharing resources with the city, along with inspecting the district’s methodology determining whether initiatives are effective.

The deep dive into the school district comes as a series of challenges face MNPS, such as the system struggling to absorb the costs of charter school growth and the city’s booming student population. The request for an audit also comes about six months after the school district cancelled a contract with an firm focused on evaluating the district’s Central Office and most struggling schools.

Although there is support among members of the Metro Council and mayor’s office for such a report, Metro officials have yet to decide how to pay for it, although Councilwoman Emily Evans — who has spearheaded the effort — says there appears to be consensus the government will foot the bill.

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