“It’s becoming clear to me that we will never do anything,” said Aurand, a Courtland Republican.Kansas gives smaller school districts, most in rural areas, additional funds on the premise that because of their enrollment the additional funds are needed to provide a basic education. Jeff King, an Independence Republican, said legislators shouldn’t hide behind the bill’s intent and make consolidation a fair process, not punish districts already facing financial struggles. “This is a forced consolidation bill.” The bill contained other provisions that would allow three or more districts to discuss voluntary consolidation and form two districts. All schools and the district are accredited by the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) and Advanc ED.In 1975, the Westside High School obtained accreditation from Advanc ED (formerly North Central Association). 'Island' School Districts: A Story of Haves and Have Nots Total School Districts, Student Enrollment by State and Metro Area Why Schools Resist Consolidating Do Cities Actually Save Money When They Merge?Cook County, Ill., has nearly 150 elementary and high school districts.The districts are Argonia, Attica, Altoona-Midway, Baileyville, Chase and Elk Valley. “To hit them with the stick again isn’t a good message.” Under the bill, those smaller districts would have had state aid reduced to the same level as those with 200 students. Bill Light, a Rolla Republican, said consolidation should be a local decision by school boards, not mandated by legislators.But the bill was amended on a 75-39 vote to remove those provisions. Kansas last forced hundreds of districts to consolidate in the 1960s, a process that still stirs resentment statewide.
A note in the memo mentions a 1992 report of school consolidation efforts in other states, finding that “consolidating school districts led to a minor savings in administrative costs but major savings would result only from closing schools, reducing the number of teachers, and increasing class sizes.” Kansas school spending advocates tell us that reducing teachers and increasing class sizes would be a disaster for children.
Students in the Pittsburgh metro area are assigned to 105 different local districts.
More than 500 districts are scattered across Oklahoma, with an average of fewer than 1,300 students enrolled in each.
Kansas lawmakers are gearing up for what could be one of the toughest political battles seen in the Statehouse since the early 1960s, a bill that would force the consolidation of many of the state's smaller school districts. John Bradford, R-Lansing, is the author of a bill that will be the subject of hearings next week in the House Education Committee.
This map, provided by the Kansas Association of School Boards, shows in yellow school districts that would be unaffected by proposed consolidation under House Bill 2504.