The Virginia School Efficiency Review Program

The school efficiency review program, which began in 2004, is designed to identify ways that divisions can reduce costs in non-instructional areas that can then be redirected to classroom activities. Participation by school divisions is voluntary and involves the division contracting with outside education experts to perform the efficiency reviews. The findings include an evaluation of the efficiency of various offices and operations within a school division, recommendations, and projected costs and/or savings associated with the recommendations.

Any school division may request that the Department of Planning and Budget (DPB) assist in coordinating a school efficiency review. Such assistance shall be at the discretion of the Director of DPB and does not include negotiation or administration of contracts. Each participating school division shall pay 100 percent of the cost of the review.

Coordination provided by DPB includes assistance with the Virginia School Efficiency Review Program Protocol and the Matrix of School Review Best Practice Recommendations and Best Practice Models.

  • The Protocol contains eights chapters: divisional administration, educational service delivery, human resources, facilities use and management, financial management, transportation, technology management, and food services. The protocol outlines data needs, activities, and procedures to follow when conducting a school efficiency review.
  • The Matrix shows best practices and common recommendations previously reported in School Efficiency Reviews so that school divisions may use the model as a guideline for self-directed improvements toward better financial management and use of school division resources.

Some divisions may find that not all recommendations can be implemented for a variety of reasons. The reports are intended to generate options for the consideration of locally elected and divisional administration officials.

Full text versions of all previously completed reviews are available on the Virginia Department of Education's website at

Virginia School Efficiency Review Program Protocol  Final SERVE Protocols_July_2009.pdf

Matrix of School Review Best Practice Recommendations and Best Practice Models