Try this: Fewer school districts

Try this: Fewer school districts

There are 61 comments on the DispatchPolitics story from Feb 23, 2010, titled Try this: Fewer school districts. In it, DispatchPolitics reports that:

Of 39 recommendations in the "Restoring Prosperity" report released yesterday, one was custom-made for controversy: whacking the number of Ohio school districts by one-third. Not surprisingly, the idea received mixed reactions from federal and state elected officials and educators.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at DispatchPolitics.

First Prev
of 4
Next Last
BuckeyeProud

Columbus, OH

#1 Feb 23, 2010
I think this makes a lot of sense. You can still maintain city school systems, but eliminate the overhead of each school having a separate administrative system. Honestly, do we need a superintendent for every school district? How about Countywide administrators for the majority of schools, with only the largest school systems having separate administrators? This would save millions statewide by cutting the bloated salaries of the top heavy administrators.
4 truthjstceandamr cnway

Columbus, OH

#2 Feb 23, 2010
Typical of Ohioans. I have lived here for over 60 years and we keep letting our ties to the past hold us back from our future.
Irony Cop

Dublin, OH

#3 Feb 23, 2010
People always complain about BIg Government, but is the problem BIG GOVERNMENT or too much government? More to the point, do we have redundant government? I think that corruption is more rampant in the smaller forms of government such as school boards, mayoral offices in towns with less than 1000 people, city councils, county comissioners, sheriff departments overlapping with city police departments, etc.

Why not consolidate school districts? We have 88 counties in Ohio, perhaps aligning school districts to coincide with counties would be a better way of organzing everything. One district per county. That's fewer superintendents and fewer board members. That saves money right there.
Concerned

Columbus, OH

#4 Feb 23, 2010
Ohio has never figured out how to fund schools. They don't have this problem in the East.
Rockne

United States

#5 Feb 23, 2010
We have too much government at every level. In addition to consolidating the administration of school districts, we should consider consolidating school disticts with local government, as they do in progressive states like Illinois, Indiana and New York !
88 counties

United States

#6 Feb 23, 2010
How about reducing the 88 counties with all its duplicate processes for each county and combine every 4 counties into one and only have 22 counties. Think of the duplication that could be eliminated, waste that could be eliminated and efficiency that could be found.
Tony Clifton

Chesterfield, MO

#7 Feb 23, 2010
Just wait until the teachers' unions get ahold of this along with the administrators, who will play on Ohio's high school sports hysteria in order to preserve their bloated 611 school districts.

Orrville and Rittman merging should be just the tip of the iceberg. There should be mass consolidation in Ohio schools but just imagine telling that story in a place like Stark County where they get 10,000 people at high school football games. The only competitiveness these people grasp is sports-related and the intelligent direction of merging schools will be lost in the battle over school jackets and mascots.
Seriously

Lewis Center, OH

#8 Feb 23, 2010
Our gov't rocks. On Monday we move forward to create jobs. On Tuesday we look at ways to eliminate them.
Bill Smith

Mount Pleasant, SC

#9 Feb 23, 2010
How about closing all the government schools down. Then auction off all the property and assets. Then return the money to the people it was stolen from. Education is the responsibility of the parents, not government.
Tom

Clearwater, MN

#10 Feb 23, 2010
When we started combineing schools and closeing the small town schools and going from 15-20 kids in a class to 30-50 kids in a class is when our education society went to heck--WE NEED MORE SCHOOLS BUT SMALLER ONES BUILT CHEAPLY WITH TOTAL FOCUS ON EDUCATION!!! The top ten education rated nations in the world have small schools that are not fancy just buildings. So this idea in ohio why it will save money it will only lower quality of education even once again.
Get Real

United States

#11 Feb 23, 2010
The assumption on this idea is that there is too much overlap between districts. But that has yet to be proven. Consolidation may simply lead to more levels of administration. For example, you might have one super, but he/she will now need 5 asst. supers where there was none. The work to be done doesn't go away just because of consolidation.

Regardless of what the knee-jerk, anti-education crowd thinks they know, most have never been involved in the schools and come out to board meetings only if a new levy is being proposed.
Get Real

United States

#12 Feb 23, 2010
You'd better start learning Mandarin. Our global competitors would like nothing more than to see us follow your suggestion.

Public education is one of the best innovations our country has embraced and has yielded positive results. Ohio schools are ranked 5th in the nation. Without public schools, we'd have a system of education where only the wealthy elite are educated as history in other societies has shown. So parents, who do in fact elect our government, are being responsible.
Bill Smith wrote:
How about closing all the government schools down. Then auction off all the property and assets. Then return the money to the people it was stolen from. Education is the responsibility of the parents, not government.
Lain

Columbus, OH

#13 Feb 23, 2010
Irony Cop wrote:
....
Why not consolidate school districts? We have 88 counties in Ohio, perhaps aligning school districts to coincide with counties would be a better way of organizing everything. One district per county. That's fewer superintendents and fewer board members. That saves money right there.
This is about the best idea I have EVER read on this comment system. This would also greatly reduce the issue with funding for schools in poorer districts with a low tax base. People MUST recognize that in an ever increasing global economy that our children simply CAN NOT COMPETE with countries like China, India and Japan who have a system that standardizes the educational system on a country level. If anyone needs to ask why our jobs are all going over there its partly the low wages, its also about how these countries prepare their kids for the workplace.

And as pointed out, its not about the SIZE of government as an entity..if this concept was true than the consolidation of so many Federal Agencies rolled into the Dpt of Homeland Security should have been a major complaint for all these anti-government right wingers but they applauded the decision. TO the point its about the EFFECTIVENESS of government and if Ohio can consolidate its School boards to represent at the county level and become more efficient & effective I think it would go a long way towards addressing the problems of education. Now if only the process of equal funding under our state constitution could be addressed!
Bill Smith

Mount Pleasant, SC

#14 Feb 23, 2010
Get Real wrote:
You'd better start learning Mandarin. Our global competitors would like nothing more than to see us follow your suggestion.
Public education is one of the best innovations our country has embraced and has yielded positive results. Ohio schools are ranked 5th in the nation. Without public schools, we'd have a system of education where only the wealthy elite are educated as history in other societies has shown. So parents, who do in fact elect our government, are being responsible.
<quoted text>
Best innovations? You have to be kidding. Most kids "graduate" from high school and cannot even function in society. They can barely read (if at all), cannot do basic arithmetic, and cannot even point to Texas on a map.

Why only the wealthy? Many poor people home school their children and their children on average out perform their government school counterpart.

We had an almost 100% literacy rate in this country before the Prussian model was introduced in the Northeast during the 1840s.
harry gardner

AOL

#15 Feb 23, 2010
consolidate - the sooner the better - schools and school districts are top heavy - have been for years -aalso state dept has alot of dead weigh that should be cut - it has become a retirement home for former superintendents - take the axe to both -
Fallsbury

Columbus, OH

#16 Feb 23, 2010
Not only should school districts be combined but the local townships should be abolished and their functions transferred to the counties
BuckeyeProud

Columbus, OH

#17 Feb 23, 2010
Tony Clifton wrote:
Just wait until the teachers' unions get ahold of this along with the administrators, who will play on Ohio's high school sports hysteria in order to preserve their bloated 611 school districts.
Orrville and Rittman merging should be just the tip of the iceberg. There should be mass consolidation in Ohio schools but just imagine telling that story in a place like Stark County where they get 10,000 people at high school football games. The only competitiveness these people grasp is sports-related and the intelligent direction of merging schools will be lost in the battle over school jackets and mascots.
It doesn't ahve to affect the sports crazy lunatics in this state. one school district can have several high schools. Since you mentioned Stark County, use that as an example. If they became the Stark County school district, it would eliminate the need for separate administrations for each district. You can still have the Massillon-McKinley rivalry as they are different schools. But by consolidating the county and saving on top heavy administration, it would save millions. As I stated earlier, the only school systems that might have a separate administration would be the extremely large systems.....Columbus, Cincy, etc. But why couldn't you have the Franklin County School District that incorporates the Dublin, Westerville, Reynoldsburg, Gahanna, etc, city school systems? 88-92 school districts as opposed to 611 would certainly save a lot of money.

Someone also made a comment about them staying bloated because each Superintendent would have 5 or 6 assistant Superintendents. I think that could be based on district size. Each district could have x number of assistants for every x number of students. You would STILL save money because you aren't maintaining separate administration offices for each school system.....assistant's would be paid less than the Superintendent, benefit packages would be combined, thus saving money.....less support staff......better buying power for supplies, etc. The savings would be well worth it.
Poltical Gamer

Dublin, OH

#18 Feb 23, 2010
It's never going to happen. Could you see the people in Grandview or Upper Arlington throwing a fit over their districts being consolidted into one with Columbus Public?

It makes sense, but it would never happen. The corruption runs deep.
reader

Cincinnati, OH

#19 Feb 23, 2010
Don't mess with it. Yes, we have a lot of school districts. BUT---we don't need mega size school districts either. Southwestern School District in Columbus-Grove City is a good example. It needs split in half. Do I want to be linked with Dayto school district. NO. Just find a better way to finance/fund school districts and leave well enough alone. Don't create MORE problems.
Old Timer

AOL

#20 Feb 23, 2010
Consolidation was tried in 1959, when new high school standards were introduced, and many schools couldn't meet those standards. Interestingly, there were a few consolidations, but then the rest of the schoo districts passed additional levies to pay for the required standards. Those schools that did consolidate, even today, remain embittered, and tend to not be overly supportive of their schools.

Fast forward to today, and we see this call for consolidation again to save "huge" administrative overhead. Thankfully, we have data to review from Orville and Rittman. Orrville saved $170,000 on a 14.4 million dollar plus budget and Rittman saved $100,000 on a 9.01 million dollar budget. This HUGE savings amounted to just over 1%(ONE PER CENT)of annual cost. Also, Orville was rated "effective" and Rittman "continuous improvement", nothing to write home about, I'm afraid.

Our local school still has administrative costs lower than Orville on a per pupil basis, but was "excellent with distinction". Vision for a district come from senior leadership (my bias), and when "studies" are pushed out without further scrutiny, some folks might tend to believe those data points that reinforce their political mind-set. Therefore, facts must be put forth, and things like return on investment need to be investigated.

Also, if you look at the highest performing school in Ohio, look at northwest Ohio with all its' "small" districts, with "bare bones" administrative teams, who are among the best districts nationally, as well as in Ohio. They all have superintendents, but they don't command the high salaries people sometimes think they do.

Five years ago we were talking about breaking up large districts into smaller units, and now we get this study. Just take time to look at the facts, but realize that most folks will judge schools on their merit, but some will ignore or deride facts. That makes for interesting and "light-hearted" reading.

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker
First Prev
of 4
Next Last

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Wayne County Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
News Genealogy Query - ADAMS : COLEMAN : SIMMONS : S... (Mar '11) May '15 butler 3
News Person Of Interest Named In Teen's Disappearance (Jan '15) Jan '15 lisas 1
News Missing Ohio girl believed to be with Richmond man (Jan '15) Jan '15 lisas 1
News CAWM gets new CEO starting Feb. 10 (Jan '14) Jan '14 Katrina 1
News Wooster man gets prison for attempted murder of... (Jun '12) Jun '12 wooster 1
News Former day care employee admits to sexual conta... (Feb '11) Feb '11 power to the people 1
News Wooster: Children at home during suspected murd... (Aug '10) Aug '10 joe 1
More from around the web