A Report About Consolidating School Districts
STATE - New study provides roadmap for merging small school districts, aiding student & teacher success
Columbia – South Carolina’s extremely small school districts likely spend too much on administration, are inefficient, and do not have the tax base to provide an education that meets the requirements of the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate, according to “Better Together,” a new study by Palmetto Promise Institute.
This means districts that are both small and shrinking offer an ideal launching point for 2019 consolidation efforts.
“This study is a roadmap for merger efforts,” said Dr. Oran Smith, Senior Fellow at Palmetto Promise Institute. “Thankfully, Orangeburg legislative and civic leaders have shown the way. The education partnership between the state and local officials there means a county that once had eight districts will have one unified district next year.”
The PPI study also notes that consolidation, accompanied by school finance reform, could return more dollars to the classroom. A recent study commissioned by the State Department of Education showed savings of $338 million over five years from collaboration alone. Consolidation would save even more.
“Consolidation presents a golden opportunity to create equity in areas with a shallower tax base, eliminate duplication, promote diversity, build capacity, and support effective, innovative leadership that pushes more dollars into classrooms – all part of the formula for educational success,” said PPI President Ellen Weaver.
“Consolidation is an idea whose time has come. Our communities and schools are strongest when they work together.”
Palmetto Promise Institute (PPI) is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit, 501(c)(3) educational organization. PPI conducts public policy research dedicated to creating a free and flourishing South Carolina, where every individual has the opportunity to reach their full potential.