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Consolidating Rural School Districts: Potential Savings And Effects On Student Achievement

  • Jacques, Charles
  • Brorsen, B. Wade
  • Richter, Francisca G.-C.

One frequently proposed policy is to consolidate rural school districts in order to save money by obtaining economies of size. The effects of school district size on both expenditures and standardized test scores are estimated for Oklahoma. Results indicate that economies of scale with respect to expenditures per student exist up to an average daily membership (ADM) of 965 students, but that as school districts become larger, tests scores decline. Even if savings in school district administration from consolidation are spent on instruction, state average tests scores would decrease slightly. Thus, school district consolidation can reduce costs, but it will also reduce student learning.

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Article provided by Southern Agricultural Economics Association in its journal Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 32 (2000)
Issue (Month): 03 (December)

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Handle: RePEc:ags:joaaec:15312
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  1. Borland, M V & Howsen, R M, 1996. " Competition, Expenditures and Student Performance in Mathematics: A Comment on Couch et al," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 87(3-4), pages 395-400, June.
  2. McKinley L. Blackburn & David Neumark, 1993. "Are OLS Estimates of the Return to Schooling Biased Downward? Another Look," NBER Working Papers 4259, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Quirino Paris, 1992. "The von Liebig Hypothesis," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 74(4), pages 1019-1028.
  4. Lewis, W. Cris & Chakraborty, Kalyan, 1996. "Scale Economies in Public Education," Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy, Mid-Continent Regional Science Association, vol. 26(1).
  5. William Sander, 1997. "Catholic High Schools and Rural Academic Achievement," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(1), pages 1-12.
  6. Steven C. Deller & Carl H. Nelson, 1991. "Measuring the Economic Efficiency of Producing Rural Road Services," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 73(1), pages 194-201.
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