ERIC Number: ED371921
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994-May
Reference Count: N/A
School District Size and State Educational Costs in Kentucky. Revised.
Adams, Jacob E., Jr.
This paper was commissioned at the request of Kentucky's governor, who wished to ascertain whether state educational costs could be reduced by consolidating small school districts. The issue arises in the context of Kentucky's ongoing efforts to implement the Kentucky Education Reform Act of 1990 in the face of increasing state fiscal constraints. Comparison of Kentucky's school district organization with that of other states shows that Kentucky operates substantially fewer districts than average, operates a simple and optimal system of unified K-12 districts, and maintains average district sizes larger than two-thirds of states. Approximately two-thirds of Kentucky school districts match or exceed a general standard of "adequate" size. Analysis of the relationship between district size and state educational costs finds that the state could not save educational costs by consolidating small school districts. Major determinants of state educational costs include basic state per-pupil assistance to elementary and secondary schools and required local contributions to school finance, both of which are a direct function of school district property wealth. As a result, variation in state educational costs across Kentucky school districts is primarily related to district property wealth, not district size. Additionally, costs alone do not represent the full range of important considerations associated with school district consolidation. Other factors include student achievement, community identity, and district operations. Strategies to enhance local efficiency are discussed. Contains 11 tables, including rankings, number of school districts; national rankings, school enrollments; national rankings, average district size; school district sizes, property wealth, and state educational cost factors compared, 1992-93. Contains 27 references. (SV)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence, Lexington, KY.
Identifiers - Location: Kentucky
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Kentucky Education Reform Act 1990