Schools Get Down to Business of Students

Three districts select SAP software to improve business processes, sharpen focus on student achievement

Washington — June 1, 2005 — Clark County School District in Nevada and Minneapolis School District in Minnesota said they have selected financial, human capital management and procurement solutions from SAP's mySAP Business Suite to improve business process integration and better support educational initiatives.

In Florida, the School Board of Broward County (SBBC) also announced it will upgrade its existing SAP solutions to increase efficiencies in all of its operations while enabling a platform for future growth.

Driven by new legislative demands and severe budget deficits, public schools are compelled to show a tighter link between investments and their impact on student performance. Local school districts must find ways to ensure consistent reporting to state and federal agencies and improve the effectiveness of personnel so they can focus on delivering quality education.

The school boards said that by using public sector-specific offerings, including budget preparation, finance, human capital management and administration, their districts can make quicker budget decisions, provide accurate reporting and have stronger financial accountability. With a clearer view of how money is spent, the school districts can anticipate problems before they occur and reallocate funds to where they are needed.

"As school districts strive to close the achievement gap and make sure all students are proficient in math and reading, they must employ better ways to manage information and free up resources from time-consuming administrative tasks and apply them to the classroom," said Steve Peck, president, SAP Public Services Inc. "SAP provides levels of visibility across every school, allowing administrators and educators to best determine how to allocate funds for their particular needs, such as rapidly hiring the best qualified new teachers, executing modernization projects or implementing proven education methods."

Fastest-Growing School District

With more than 300 schools in the City of Las Vegas, Nev., Clark County School District (CCSD) is the fastest-growing school district in the nation To meet the academic and extracurricular needs of its student population of 280,800 and growing, the district has undertaken the nation's largest school construction and modernization program, facing new business requirements that its existing homegrown legacy software could not support.

CCSD selected payroll, human capital management and supplier management solutions from mySAP Business Suite to enable administrators to track and manage detailed financial requirements for the $3.7 billion modernization program to accurately determine whether each facility should be renovated or replaced and to optimize scheduling of each project.

In order to tie the school district's systems together, CCSD will use the SAP NetWeaver platform for better strategic decision making, supporting the district's 32,161 employees.

Increasing Efficiency for Changing Educational Needs

The Minneapolis School District, home to more than 39,000 students, is replacing disparate legacy systems that have made it difficult to support financial planning and drive procurement processes across its 109 schools.

To improve productivity, the school district selected integrated human resources, payroll and procurement solutions from mySAP Business Suite to provide employees with real-time access to benefits, payroll and scheduling information. Additionally, administration and staff will use the software's Web-enabled capabilities to identify candidates most qualified for job openings, increase recruitment efficiency and enroll in professional development training.

"Though we are in the early stage of implementation, we are hopeful that SAP will empower our school administrators to do more with fewer resources so that they can dedicate more time to their mission of education," said Minneapolis spokesperson Dan Hambrock, executive director of operations. "As the cost of educating students increases and the gap in funding widens, we are looking to the increased decision support that SAP provides to help us ensure every dollar is being spent effectively and efficiently to support the education of our children."

Investing in Student Achievement

Since 2000, the School Board of Broward County (SBBC) has been using SAP software to provide employees with streamlined access to information on travel and leave, benefits and compensation. To meet new demands of the 1.7 million citizens in Broward County, SBBC will expand its SAP footprint with new solutions that address the personnel, facilities and funding needs impacted by the state of Florida's Class Size Reduction amendment.

Specifically, SBBC will increase efficiency in operating the second-largest fleet system in Florida, transporting more than 80,000 students on more than 1,200 bus routes. School personnel will be able to reduce maverick spending and renegotiate contracts through bidding with the software's supplier-management capabilities, providing teachers with more time to focus on student achievement. The new technology integration project will enable better tracking of time and expenses against construction project budgets, help eliminate manual tasks and duplicate data entries and provide a complete view of maintenance activities, including rigorous tracking of work orders.

"Because of the integrated nature of mySAP Business Suite, all data can reside in one place, eliminating interfaces between labor, finance, purchasing and operational systems," said Vijay Sonty, chief information officer for the district. "With real-time access to information and accurate management reporting and decision making, we are enhancing the district's capacity to meet the educational goals of all students. And just as importantly, SAP solutions provide an internal growth platform that is flexible, scalable, and responsive to meet the needs of different levels of the organization pyramid."

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