Consolidating school districts pennsylvania

Late last year Maine passed a law to consolidate the state’s school districts down to 80 from its current 290.One small school district in the town of Kittery was recently granted an exemption to remain on its own after unsuccessfully searching for partners.He began his career as a middle school teacher in North Philadelphia through the Teach for America program.Although he lives in Philadelphia, he spends most of his time in either Harrisburg or Pittsburgh.It's a controversial and constant issue facing rural educators, and recent reports reveal that the effects of district consolidation have been mixed.Pennsylvania lawmakers are considering legislation that would reduce number of districts in the state from 500, according to a story from The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.The paper reported that “more than 40 percent of Pennsylvania’s districts have fewer than 2,000 students.Eighty percent educate fewer than 5,000 students.” In the 1950s, Pennsylvania had 2,700 school districts, and the state allowed for consolidation.

Previously, Jonathan served as the Director of Strategic Initiatives at KIPP Philadelphia Schools and as a community organizer with Good Schools Pennsylvania.But the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators compared Pennsylvania with six states that have countywide school systems and found Pennsylvania spent a smaller proportion on central office staff, and its standardized test scores mostly were better.And in a separate February report from the National Education Policy Center, "Consolidation of Schools and Districts: What the Research Says and What it Means," researchers reviewed the existing studies and found "a century of consolidation has already produced most of the efficiencies obtainable," and said some high-poverty areas can suffer irreversible damage if consolidation occurs.Schools were important institutions of colonization. The many diverse groups of European settlers in Pennsylvania founded educational institutions, usually tied to their churches.Germans, English, and other colonists used schools as vehicles for cultural preservation in the New World ; and they sometimes came into conflict when English educators attempted to impose their school systems upon other ethnic groups.The recommendations sparked a few questions in my mind: What other guidelines would rural school advocates give state lawmakers who are considering consolidation?


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