Consolidating school districts

Up to the time of the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression, the region sustained large numbers of school districts.

In the peak year of 1924 there were 56,121 school districts in Great Plains states, with Kansas alone having 9,326.

When your graduating class is nine students, she said, you get to do everything.

With a certified enrollment of 97 students, Diagonal Community School District is the smallest in Iowa.

The Rural Blog Anything But Research Based-State Initiatives to Consolidate Schools and Districts Rural Policy Matters (March 2006) Broader Curriculum Does Not Equal Higher Achievement in Iowa Rural Policy Matters (March 2006) Breaking the Fall—Cushioning the Impact of Rural Declining Enrollment (PDF)Lorna Jimerson (February 2006) School Consolidation and Local Control (PDF)National School Boards Association (2005) School consolidation and alternatives are the focus of the October issue of Leadership Insider. (PDF)Cynthia Reeves (Jan 2004) Between 19, total enrollment in West Virginia decreased 11%, 202 schools were closed, and education spending increased by 16%.

Per pupil expenditures increased more in West Virginia than in any other state, but student achievement remained stagnant during this period.

(Delaware State News/Marc Clery) DOVER — Philadelphia has 199,000 public school students and just one school district.

Montgomery County, Maryland, has one countywide district, covering 156,000 students. About 137,000 students — and 19 separate school districts, a figure that doesn’t include 25 charter schools around the state.

Despite this, the prevailing notion of streamlining school districts and reducing expenditures through consolidation remains strong.

The links listed below provide a glimpse of the extant research on school consolidation as well as providing some ideas for areas in need of more study.

Given the seemingly disproportionate number of districts, some Delaware taxpayers have wondered over the years if consolidation would be wise.

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