Superintendents are an important part of the consolidation process, and while they are not unbiased, they have the authority and experience to comment.
So, the BGA reached out to superintendents in districts that consolidated in the past decade to get their thoughts on the consolidation effort and its effect on education in their communities.
The Keystone School District is a small, rural public school district in Clarion County, Pennsylvania.
It serves the boroughs of Shippenville, Knox, and Callensburg, as well as the townships of Beaver Township, Elk Township, Licking Township, Ashland Township, and Salem Township.
When it comes to school district consolidation, it’s important to consider what realities your district is facing and what is important in your community and the surrounding area.
Consider some of these potential benefits and costs: Benefits: Since the 1980s, the state has provided a series of financial incentives to make it easier for districts to consolidate.
Hastings of the Milford Area District, located in east central Illinois, said that “combining two district resources into one organization [allows for] better funding” and fewer board members.Consolidations happen when two or more school districts, either elementary and/or high school districts, merge together to form a new, single school district.Between 19, there were 62 consolidations, mainly in rural communities.It is no secret that Illinois is home to the greatest number of government units in the nation, nearly 7,000.Following the passage of Senate Bill 3 in the summer of 2017, which made the process of consolidating units of local government easier, there has been renewed interested in streamlining government. With 852 separate districts, Illinois comes in third, bested only by Texas and California, whose populations are more than double ours.Superintendent Jeffrey Humes of Odin Public School District (301 students), Superintendent Dale Hastings of Milford Area District (650 students), and former superintendent Ron Graham of North Mac District (1,477 students) shared their thoughts.All three of their districts are in rural Illinois.None of the suprindenants we spoke with experienced a decrease in administrative costs in their districts after consolidation.In fact, Humes noted, “administrative costs didn’t change” nor did tax rates, when Odin’s elementary and high school districts consolidated.According to the Local Government Consolidation & Unfunded Mandates Task Force there are four incentives available to school districts: According to the task force, about 5 million in incentives have been paid out for district consolidations and other reorganizations from 1986 to 2015.As a result of these incentives, the Classrooms First Commission found the state would bear significant cost if school district consolidation took place en masse.