ERIC Number: ED426830
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
Report of the Small Schools Group.
Vermont State Dept. of Education, Montpelier.
Vermont state legislation provides additional funding to small schools--those enrolling fewer than 100 students. To meet legislative requirements, a study group examined costs, educational quality, and consolidation issues in Vermont's small schools. In 1996-97, Vermont had 50 small schools (16 percent of all public schools), primarily K-6 elementary schools. A study group of 26 persons from diverse backgrounds reviewed national studies on small schools, examined the Vermont School Report, heard presentations from three communities with small schools that had considered consolidation, and identified critical indicators differentiating small and larger schools. A school survey was completed by 44 small schools and 33 comparison schools with over 300 students. The study found that costs were 6-12 percent higher in small schools and 18 percent higher in schools with less than 50 students; higher costs were related to smaller class sizes; year-to-year enrollment changes in small schools were dramatic; and larger schools had both economies and "diseconomies" of scale. Despite lower socioeconomic status, students in small schools did as well or better than students in larger schools; small school facilities were in as good or better shape than larger facilities; and parent participation in small schools was high. Although consolidation pressures were strong for many small schools, community decision making was complex and went well beyond educational issues. Recommendations are offered for state funding and school accountability. (Appendices contain a participant list, a statistical profile of Vermont small schools, the school survey questionnaire and results, and references.) (SV)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Educational Quality, Elementary Education, Elementary Schools, Expenditure per Student, School Community Relationship, School Size, School Statistics, School Surveys, Small Schools, State Aid
World Wide Web at http://www.state.vt.us/educ/SSreport.htm
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Vermont State Dept. of Education, Montpelier.
Identifiers - Location: Vermont
IES Cited: ED510558