Despite this, the prevailing notion of streamlining school districts and reducing expenditures through consolidation remains strong.The links listed below provide a glimpse of the extant research on school consolidation as well as providing some ideas for areas in need of more study.The House Education Committee on Monday voted unanimously on a resolution calling for a study on the pros and cons of consolidating school districts. Vereb is looking for administrative savings by dissolving school district boundaries.The study would be done by the Legislature's Joint State Government Commission and the Independent Fiscal Office. During the committee hearing, he framed the resolution as a chance to cut the number of administrators and use the savings to hire more teachers or invest in classrooms.American Association of School Administrators: School District Consolidation: American School: Rural School Districts Facing Threat of Consolidation Education Northwest: What Does Research Say About School District Consolidation?
Kathy Rapp, R-Warren, whose district covers vast rural areas of northwest Pennsylvania."I know that there are pros and cons to consolidation but at the end of the day it is a savings to the taxpayers in the county and certainly when we're looking at declining populations and maybe other excessive expenditures, I think this a good idea," Rapp said.House Education Committee votes unanimously Monday on a resolution that asks for a legislative study on the pros and cons of consolidating some for the state’s 500 school districts.(Colt Shaw / The Morning Call) HARRISBURG —In an effort to trim taxpayer costs, a Montgomery County lawmaker has entered a long line of legislators looking to merge some of the state's 500 school districts.Additionally, evidence continues to build demonstrating the advantages of small schools in attaining higher levels of student achievement.Larger schools, in contrast, have been shown to increase transportation costs, raise dropout rates, lower student involvement in extra-curricular activities, and harm rural communities’ sense of place.The Erie School District had always planned to consolidate schools no matter how much additional funding the district received from the state.But the district had hoped to proceed gradually with the consolidations and school closings, mainly to give students and parents more time to plan.The last time Pennsylvania merged districts statewide was in the 1960s.However, the Legislature also increased the number of administrators and teachers with the 1997 passage of the state charter school law and the cyber charter school law a few years later. For example, in the 2000-01 school year, there were 1.8 million students, Department of Education records show.School consolidation continues to be a topic of great concern for many small rural school and districts.While advocates for consolidation commonly cite fiscal imperatives based upon economies of scale, opponents have responded with evidence undermining this argument and pointing out the prominent position of the rural school in the economic and social development of community.