School District Consolidation: The Benefits and Costs
What recent research reveals about expected financial savings when small districts merge
“First, consolidated school districts usually make use of larger schools, which implies that average transportation distance must increase. As a result, consolidation might increase a district’s transportation spending per pupil.
Second, consolidating districts may level up salaries and benefits to those of the most generous participating district, thereby raising personnel costs.
Third, administrators and teachers may have a more positive attitude toward work in smaller schools, which tend to have more flexible rules and procedures.
Finally, students may be more motivated and parents may find it more comfortable to interact with teachers in smaller districts, which tend to have a greater community feel. These reactions and closer student-faculty relationships may result in higher student performance at any given spending level.”