Reported Year 2000 (Y2K) Readiness Status of 25 Large School Districts

AIMD-99-296R: Published: Sep 21, 1999. Publicly Released: Sep 21, 1999.

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Joel C. Willemssen
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the year 2000 readiness status of 25 of the nation's largest public school districts, focusing on the systems supporting those districts' key business functions.

GAO noted that: (1) in most instances, surveyed public school districts designated administrative systems, student records, facilities/embedded systems, student transportation, and food service as mission critical functions; (2) all school districts surveyed considered their administrative systems mission critical, and the other functions were considered mission critical by most; (3) while instructional laboratories were generally not considered mission critical, three districts did report their respective instructional laboratory systems as such; (4) of the 25 school districts surveyed, 7 reported that all of their systems which support their mission critical business functions were year 2000 compliant; (5) two districts reported that their mission critical systems would be year 2000 compliant by the end of September 1999; (6) the remaining 16 districts reported that their systems would be ready by the last quarter of 1999 or later, including 9 reporting compliance would be achieved after November 30, 1999; (7) school districts vary in the number of business functions each plans to have independently verified; (8) however, the majority of school districts report that they do plan to have at least one of their business functions independently verified; (9) seven districts report that with the exception of instructional laboratories, they plan to have all of their business functions independently verified, while the same number report that they do not plan to have independent verification for any of their business functions; (10) the majority of school districts report having compliant data exchanges; (11) fifteen districts report having contingency plans in development, 10 report completing them, including 5 reporting that testing of these plans has also been completed; (12) most schools have been designated by their local communities to serve as emergency shelters, and may require additional coordination with other city and county offices in the event of year 2000 induced problems; and (13) twenty school districts reported such designations, while 5 reported not being so designated.

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