ERIC Number: EJ896695
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Does School District Consolidation Cut Costs?
Duncombe, William; Yinger, John
Education Finance and Policy, v2 n4 p341-375 Fall 2007
Consolidation has dramatically reduced the number of school districts in the United States. Using data from rural school districts in New York, this article provides the first direct estimation of consolidation's cost impacts. We find economies of size in operating spending: all else equal, doubling enrollment cuts operating costs per pupil by 61.7 percent for a 300-pupil district and by 49.6 percent for a 1,500-pupil district. Consolidation also involves large adjustment costs, however. These adjustment costs, which are particularly large for capital spending, lower net cost savings to 31.5 percent and 14.4 percent for a 300-pupil and a 1,500-pupil district, respectively. Overall, consolidation makes fiscal sense, particularly for very small districts, but states should avoid subsidizing unwarranted capital projects.
Descriptors: Rural Schools, Educational Finance, School Districts, Costs, Cost Effectiveness, Consolidated Schools, Operating Expenses, School District Reorganization, School District Size, Audits (Verification), Policy Analysis
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York; United States