A state audit of Washington’s 10 largest school districts has found ways to save millions of dollars by automating bus routes, cutting administrative staffing, and closing surplus school buildings, reports the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. The state auditor paid a private firm to audit the school districts and identify ways to free up resources. The audit found $54 million in potential cost savings over the next five years. The report also recommends changes at the state education office to help local districts save money. The purpose of the study was to find ways to help school districts deal with rising costs and the potential of decreasing tax revenues. The audit pays particular attention to the state’s largest school district, Seattle Public Schools. It says Seattle has 18 percent more classroom space than it needs for its students and 39 percent more executives, managers, and supervisors per student than the average among the 10 districts with the highest enrollment in fiscal 2005. The audit also listed a number of other ways for the state’s largest school districts to save money. For example, it said the Edmonds, Puyallup, and Vancouver districts should use computer software to automate their bus routes to save a total of nearly $8 million over five years. The report also recommended saving money statewide by created a central office for storing employment records for all certified employees, such as teachers…

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