One idea that I have had for cutting costs is to reduce the technology in the classroom. The problem with that idea is that a lot of the funding for technology is coming from dedicated funds--so it can't be used for staff costs.
I'm lukewarm on technology for several reasons, but the primary one is that I don't think it makes teachers actually teach better. Very few teachers use technology in a way that makes outcomes any different.
Conversation with my dad (a retired professor):
Me: Interactive whiteboards are all show.
Dad: But they are really cool!
Sure, they are cool. But do they improve reading? math? Does my son know more math than I learned at the same age with a regular chalkboard? I don't think so.
Assorted Stuff has some interesting thoughts on the subject.
Assorted Stuff posits that if you could change the teacher-directed educational structure, you could probably integrate technology into teaching, and teach better.
I think that's an interesting thought, and one that project-based learning theory supports. On the other hand--direct instruction has its place, and maybe teachers shouldn't try so hard to incorporate technology into what is otherwise exactly the same exercise that it would be without technology.
And here is an example:
One of my children's teachers has a blog where he posts the assignment (write a response to the piece we just read), and they all post their responses. Do you think that really improves the thoughtfulness of the responses? Do you think it makes things easier for the children? Does it make my child understand the piece better? No, No, and No. (It did, however, let me see that the teacher writes poorly.)
Teachers: if you are going to use technology, please use it to do things that you couldn't or wouldn't do without it (for instance, build a visual model of the outcome of a physics experiment). Don't use technology just because it is there.