Advantages to consolidating school districts

Recently, austerity measures on state and federal budgets have led to yearly education funding cuts.

As a result, public schools may not be able to provide the same quality of education as private schools.

A fifth of the districts that rejected mergers are in the Southern Tier.

While the report noted potential financial benefits, it concluded “the primary benefit of school district reorganization is increased learning opportunities for students.” “There have been opportunities for districts to consolidate, and some have and have done pretty well, while others have done it and don’t like it,” Mary Ellen Elia, commissioner of the state department of education, said in a recent meeting with the editorial board of Central New York Media Group.

While testing isn't inherently bad, these standardized tests take up a lot of valuable instructional time -- the CAHSEE takes over eight hours to complete -- and they are not always accurate measurements of teacher accountability or student achievement since they do not measure a student's academic growth.

The average class size in a California elementary school is 29.7 students, and the number is higher for secondary schools.

Regardless of the state, students in public schools take lengthy accountability tests, and high school students must take cumulative, high-stakes tests such as the California High School Exit Exam in order to receive a diploma.

Some affluent school districts, like the Seattle Public School District, are able to fund music teachers and other supplemental programs by soliciting parent donations.

This is not an option for lower-income districts, where many schools cut supplemental services like transportation and class trips due to budget constraints.

She holds a Master of Arts in special education from San Diego State University.

When voters in Broome County’s Chenango Forks and Chenango Valley school districts rejected a plan to consolidate in 2013, they demonstrated once again that in New York state’s tug-of-war between efficiency and autonomy, the latter usually wins.

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