As a taxpayer and payer of student fees, I want the best bang for my buck. My opinion does not instantly default to the cheapest option; I focus more on benefit gained per dollar spent. The funds should be used wisely. If cost savings are promised, they should be measurable. You’ve got to show me the numbers for me to buy in.
One thing we hear about in nearly every presentation for HSE 21 is the cost savings. iPads with free digital textbooks and free apps will save HSE and parents unnecessary expense; we’ll be able to cut classroom and administrative supplies. But there are network infrastructure upgrades being performed that will have substantial costs, and perhaps other general program expenses as well.
I searched the HSE 21 site for a financial analysis. I would prefer a financial model that includes some sensitivity analysis around the modeling assumptions that were used. The model should justify logically and quantitatively a range estimate for cost savings this program is expected to realize, or an estimate of its net total cost. Corporation and parent expenses should be compared before and after, to show any shift from one to the other. To date, I have not found any such document.
I attended the parent presentation for HSE 21 at Sand Creek Intermediate School on Monday, April 21st. After the end of the official meeting, I overheard another parent ask a question of the Administration representatives.
The parent question: Could they see the cost analysis showing all of the impacts for implementation and the anticipated savings?
The official response: HSE has not done a full-blown cost-benefit analysis for the program.
I was simply in shock.
I simply cannot believe that a program costing millions of dollars has not been subject to rigorous financial analysis before it was approved. Perhaps the person answering the question did not have access to the document. But the serious question is, why is such a document not front-and-center on the HSE 21 site for all to review?
I have a number of other, more detailed questions regarding financing and costs for HSE 21. But I don’t feel they are that important, relatively speaking, without having the basics covered. I really want to be wrong about this. I need to be wrong about this.