The research is clear. Smaller school districts operate at lower costs and deliver higher levels of student achievement.
“In many places, schools and districts are already too large for fiscal efficiency or educational quality; deconsolidation is more likely than consolidation to achieve substantial efficiencies and yield improved educational outcomes.” Page 11
“Sheer size is one problem. Central office staffs are large, highly specialized, and remote from the schools, so that superintendents and board members deal with education only indirectly and through policy rather than through direct contact.” Page 3
“Controlling for characteristics of the student population and other environmental factors, including class and school size, district size appears to hinder educational achievement, having its biggest impact on middle school student performance.” Page 1
The Influence of District Size, School Size, and Socioeconomic Status on Student Acheivement – Washington School Research Center, 2002
“We found that large district size is detrimental to achievement in Washington 4th and 7th grades in that it strengthens the negative relationship between school poverty and student achievement. This finding replicated that of the Bickel and Howley (2000) study.”” Page 16 (4th and 7th grades were the groups studied)
For an excellent overview of district size issues, visit http://www.smallerschools.org.