Consolidating conservation districts problems gay men internet dating sites
A frequent question to the Reference Desk, and one currently receiving increased national attention due to budget challenges, is whether consolidating school districts might result in lower overall costs for education.Unfortunately, research on consolidation does not offer definitive guidance for making such decisions.In New Jersey, for example, a law was passed in 2007 that required executive county superintendents to submit consolidation plans for all K-12 districts by March 2010.The plans were submitted to the commissioner of education and that office identified 30 feasibility studies that needed to be done, potentially eliminating 104 districts.*Since December 2007 there also exists the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma Conservation District, the 29th tribal conservation district in the nation organized in cooperation with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.
New Jersey’s auditor is hardly alone in his thinking.
Moreover, efforts to ease the path toward regionalization included creating new jobs for occupants of duplicated positions.
That meant that the fiscal benefits weren’t nearly as large as anticipated and couldn’t be translated into additional educational opportunities. Exceptions and exemptions were made as schools argued that it was unreasonable for them to regionalize.
There are several reasons for this: empirical studies of consolidation employ different analytical approaches to data; older data in some studies yield results that may not be representative of current district conditions; studies do not uniformly separate costs related to merging only a narrow range of district services from costs related to merging entire districts or combining schools; different studies focus on different costs or estimate costs in different ways; and much of the literature consists of advocacy.
However, while the literature on consolidation may not provide a direct road map for making decisions, it does provide a useful overview of issues, together with estimates of cost savings and cautions for those going forward with consolidation.
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No great surprise here: A recent audit in New Jersey recommended that the state move forward with school district consolidation efforts.