The immediate impact on stakeholders is obvious: there would be less money all around to distribute to other areas such as transportation, building maintenance, staffing, or professional development opportunities. I cannot say whether or not the Ministry would allocate any funds in order to offset the costs of implementing a new system. Considering the current economic climate I would assume not.Therefore, the impact on students and teachers cannot be taken lightly.
I have searched through the budgets posted on Regina Public’s website to see if I could determine the approximate cost of the implementation of PowerSchool to compare it to the quote I received from Alma, but I was unable to find out where in the budget this would be. It did not look like there was a massive increase in operational costs in the years I associated with the start of Regina Public’s use of PowerSchool.
A change like this cannot be undertaken in one year. A school board must ensure that there is enough of a contingency fund to offset the extra costs this would have. There must be a plan for any unexpected costs arising during the school year that had not been budgeted for.
Because this would be a gradual process, impact on stakeholders would be distributed over the course of years rather than months.
As discussed previously, buy-in from stakeholders would take place through surveys, forums, and participation in working committees. Hopefully by eliciting comments and suggestions from staff members, this change can proceed with little resistance.
Failure in this endeavor would look like a refusal to accept or acknowledge that PowerSchool could be problematic because of its genesis and corporation.
The report to taxpayers would have to be thoroughly detailed indicating that all possible outcomes have been analyzed. The case for social justice would have to be made in very clear, concise terms so that it is obvious why Pearson-developed software is problematic. Unfortunately, in this conservative province, this is potentially the source for the biggest backlash of the change. The general public does not appreciate change in education for a variety of reasons, mostly due to the cost. I would anticipate that board meetings would have open forums to educate people on the change proposed. School trustees would be tasked with communicating to their constituents the dangers of Pearson and what makes Alma the more positive choice for students and teachers.