School district ideas to save money Fifty-one of B.C.'s 59 school districts handed in their assignments to suggest ways to save money province-wide. The suggestions have been compiled in a report that school districts can use to apply to their bailiwick, or to work with nearby districts to cut costs. Some suggestions include: o Joint or shared purchase of office and janitorial supplies, resource materials, technology and fuel; o Shared payroll, maintenance, school bus, and legal services; and o Shared facilities to allow schools access to a wider range of recreational activities. "Any recommendations that lead to further efficiencies will help us spend our education dollars smarter," says education minister Paul Ramsey. The province hopes to save $500,000 a year by buying a payroll software package to be used province-wide; a further $500,000 a year through bulk-purchasing of chairs, desks and computer hardware; and a third $500,000 a year by bulk-purchasing portable school rooms. One move that could open school board meetings to a wider audience, as well as save trustees time and money getting to and from the school board office, is to explore using teleconferencing to conduct school board meetings. That step could save $100,000 a year in travel and other expenses.