Throughout the country there was a great wave of school district consolidation in the 1970s and 1980s.Generally speaking, this consolidation consisted of bringing multiple small school districts together under a single set of administrators.These local units of government are also responsible for Illinois’ growing property taxes, which already rank as the third-highest in the country.Many of the state’s local governments could be consolidated – which would help to reduce their negative effects.What’s more, a remarkable 144 of New Jersey’s districts are made up of only one school.State Auditor Stephen Eells points out the inefficiency of having one K-6 school handle all the administrative costs of running a school district.A frequent question to the Reference Desk, and one currently receiving increased national attention due to budget challenges, is whether consolidating school districts might result in lower overall costs for education.
Conversely, California school districts average 6,067 students.
It discusses issues of presumed benefits of consolidation: fiscal efficiency and higher educational quality.
The evidence detailed in this brief suggests that “a century of consolidation has already produced most of the efficiencies obtainable” and that poor regions benefit from smaller schools and districts.
Illinois has the most units of local government of any state in the country.
Many of its nearly 7,000 units of local government are overlapping, duplicative and contribute to Illinois’ growing debt, waste and corruption.
At Collegiate, for example, current Collegiate students would remain enrolled in honors-level academic programs and other students would be in programs for the arts and other specialized areas of study.