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.
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?
National Education Policy Center: Consolidation of Schools and Districts: What the Research Says and What It Means Pennsylvania School Boards Association: Merger/Consolidation of School Districts: Does it save money and improve 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.
At Collegiate, for example, current Collegiate students would remain enrolled in honors-level academic programs and other students would be in programs for the arts and other specialized areas of study.
East and Strong Vincent would become middle schools.
School districts with very small enrollments are actually quite common across the country.
A analysis of federal data from the 2013-2014 school year found that a third of all local districts were made up of only one or two public schools.