The outlay of dollars goes on and on in public education. In 2006, the number of Stark County children between the ages of 5 and 19 numbered 75,455, according to U. School consolidation was one of the recurring topics that Repository readers asked the newspaper to consider for its Stark 2020 campaign — a 10-year project intended to make Stark County a measurably better place by the year 2020. Would Stark County tax dollars go farther with fewer school districts? With a declining student population, what if, instead of 17 public school districts, Stark County had just one, maybe two or three?“Generally, the two reasons people propose consolidation is either to save money or to expand the opportunity available by one district over two smaller districts.” Consolidating districts is not new. The peak of consolidation in Ohio occurred during the 1950s, when the legislature offered incentives to small districts to merge or consolidate.” In a study Asbury did regarding consolidation, he said the potential to save money is based on the reduction or elimination of duplicated services.We think there are a lot of worthy considerations not given their due in the process.”Over the past 70 years, the number of school districts has declined from 117,000 to around 14,200, even though the student population has almost doubled.Ten states, led by Maine, are considering consolidation or moving toward the process this year.It’s kind of about what keeps small towns and small communities going.” Here’s a list of school districts by county.It’s not hard to look at this and think there ought to be some savings in there.
Freeholder Director Rob Walton looked at 18 other counties nationwide with populations and land areas similar to Hunterdon’s and found that those with countywide school systems tended to spend less on public education than the ones with multiple school districts.The panel then addressed an array of topics including the influence of poverty, location, and economics on schools districts.Other topics included use of technology in rural schools, the influence of political will, and race and socio-economics with school consolidation.Debbie Ratcliffe, a spokeswoman for the Texas Education Agency, said consolidating school districts would be an incredible undertaking.“Many of our school districts overlap counties, so there’d be some issue with how you’d handle that,” Ratcliffe said.