ERIC Number: ED458075
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
School District Consolidation Will Save Millions of Dollars: Fact or Myth? A Special Report.
In 1983 the Arkansas State Board of Education adopted minimum education standards. One consequence of the legislation has been school district consolidation. From 1983 to 1999, the number of Arkansas school districts declined from 370 to 310, and consolidations are expected to continue due to the high costs of maintaining the standards and providing quality educational programs. Proponents of consolidation suggest that the state should mandate further consolidations as a money-saving strategy. This report examines data on school district spending and finds that consolidations have not resulted in savings. The expenditures and millages of all 218 school districts that consolidated from 1965 to 1995 were analyzed, comparing the year before and the 2 years after consolidation. Only 15 of the 113 mergers resulted in lower spending. In the year following consolidation, 25 school districts voted a lower millage, 80 voted the same millage, and 113 voted a millage increase. Additional data show that in 1996-97, the state's 100 smallest school districts spent $84 per pupil more than the state average but $536 per pupil less than the state's 10 largest districts. Small school districts also made a greater local tax effort than larger districts. An appendix presents spending and millage data for each consolidation analyzed. (SV)
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators, Little Rock.
Identifiers - Location: Arkansas