Case for consolidation

Full story: Berkshire Eagle
Officials from three South Berkshire school districts were quick to dismiss the concept of consolidation at a meeting last week at the Mahaiwe in Great Barrington, and given the disappointing turnout for the information session they can probably conclude that voters favor the status quo. Full Story
HellerCarbonCapN TradeCo

Alexandria, VA

#1 Oct 27, 2009
How can The Berkshire Eagle make a serious plea for consolidation when the history of consolidation repeatedly shows that it doesn't save a dime and even leads to higher overall costs and added expensive layers of bureaucracy?
If anything, de-centralization is the route municipalities would be wise to take.
Especially in a county losing both population and jobs.
Decentralization means bringing back those smaller neighborhood schools right in one's home community.
Why bus a kid 15-25 miles when he/she can have the opportunity to walk or be driven a mile and a half to the local school?
Why have a multi-layered bureaucracy of overpaid administrators when a local school can get away with having a teacher and principal in one and the same person?
Large consolidated school systems mean having to deal with -- and negotiate with -- intransigant and greedy teacher unions with their requisite platinum-plated union contracts containing all those budget-busting union bells and whistles (like cushy health and pension benefit plans).
Large centralized school systems also mean dealing with expensive bussing company contracts.
Going small and local avails the local municipality of the opportunity of no teacher unions and privately negotiated teaching contracts, just like if the municipality were negotiating the salary of the local highway superintendent or town secretary.
The most important aspect of going small, though, is the improved education afforded the children.
Better one-on-one tutoring and low student-teacher ratios are realized in small school scenarios.
Given all the pluses inherent in small, it makes one wonder just why The Berkshire Eagle is so insistent on a bigger dinosaur, especially after the fiasco that is the Southern Berkshire Regional School District?
Could it be that The Eagle likes union contracts, layers of bureaucrats, and transportation company costs?
Go figure.

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