Consolidating school districts
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This move is all the more needed considering the budget cutbacks that government has been implementing.One of the most recent school district consolidation controversies was in Oklahoma involving State Rep.
It will also help improve enrollment and minimize financial constraints, both of which are basic problems in fragmented school districts.Nationally, more than 900 school districts have fewer than 100 students, so few the entire school district’s enrollment—from preschool through high school—could fit comfortably on two school buses.More than 20 percent of those micro-districts can be found in Montana, where nearly half the state’s school districts have fewer than 100 students.An analysis shows Illinois leads the nation in the number of districts with only one school—214, and taxpayers spent ,000 more per student on average to educate students in one-school districts compared with multi-school districts. Although the commission is conducting a broad study of school efficiency issues, one of the primary areas members are addressing is school consolidation.In 2011, the Illinois legislature responded to Quinn’s proposal by enacting House Bill 1216, which created the Classrooms First Commission, chaired by Lt. The commission is scheduled to release a report with recommendations by July 2012.Although with a noble purpose, this was met with strong opposition from parents and educators, leaving many representatives facing a wall.
The Cons of School District Consolidation The negative side of school district consolidation has been primarily opposed by parents and educators alike in consolidated districts due to somewhat personal reasons.Legislatures and governors recently have given increased attention to school district consolidation.Facing mounting budget shortfalls and searching desperately for avenues to cut spending, some state leaders have examined possible savings by forcing smaller districts to close.Just ask voters in Valdosta, Ga., who in November 2011, by nearly a 4-to-1 ratio, rejected a ballot initiative that would have merged the Valdosta City and Lowndes County school districts.The Valdosta Chamber of Commerce backed the proposed school merger and the local newspaper endorsed it, arguing uniting the two school systems would improve efficiency and the quality of education.“Consolidation lowers administrative overhead, improves efficiency and will save taxpayers 0 million.” The outcome in Illinois could be mandatory school consolidation, something that is currently voluntary.