Six school districts implementing joint business software services.

February 15, 2017

west-shore-esdSix school districts implementing joint business software services. 


AMBER TOWNSHIP — Six area school districts are coming together to utilize the same business software program, an effort that is expected to save the districts money in the long run, according to Randy Howes, superintendent of the West Shore Educational Service District.

The West Shore ESD board has approved a $450,000 expenditure to facilitate the transition of the current business management software to the new software. The districts purchasing the software include Hart, Shelby, Walkerville, Pentwater, and Mason County Eastern school districts; Mason County Central already uses the software. 

Local participating districts will repay about a quarter of those upfront costs to West Shore ESD over the next 10 years. 

Howes said he believes the qualitative benefits provided by the software and the opportunity for six of the local districts to significantly reduce business services expenses through collaboration over time will produce the desired return on this investment. 

A high quality common business software platform provides the necessary framework to facilitate cost savings in business services, Howes said. As districts continue to be challenged by scarce resources, saving money of business services allows them to keep their financial resources directed in classrooms toward educating kids, he added.

“It’s like having an insurance policy for critical services.  In an emergency situation the common platform allows the ESD to provide emergency back-up support for critical business services through its network of collaborative partners to districts on the same platform.”

The implementation process will begin in a few months and the conversion will be completed sometime during the 2017-18 school year.

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