Consolidating district illinois in school
Most of our state’s school districts fall into this category.
For now, small districts will continue creatively combining special ed services, sometimes food purchases, and of course sports teams.
Evangelist Franklin Graham prayed on a sidewalk outside the Pentagon Thursday after his invitation to a prayer service inside was withdrawn because of comments that insulted people of other religions.
Consolidating small school districts could save some states millions of dollars and offer possibilities for improving the efficiency of district management, according to a report from the Center for American Progress released at an event here this morning.
The team started workouts just a few months after two of those towns — Palestine and Hutsonville — attempted to carry their merger beyond sports by asking voters to approve consolidation of their school districts.
“The first time I visited Palestine, I remember seeing a billboard that was specifically saying Vote NO,” Ambrose says.
At the first practice, Coach Ambrose set the tone by sitting down in the middle of the floor. “Then I had like a guy from Oblong try to pick me up, who really struggled to do it, then I had another guy try to pick me up, you know, kinda with him …” Finally, Ambrose called over a third athlete. “I just used that as an example that they were stronger together.” “Stronger Together” became the team’s motto — featured on T-shirts, chanted by cheerleaders, crafted into a banner by kindergartners.
It was crucial, Ambrose says, because the team was a new co-op merging athletes from three east central Illinois high schools — Palestine, Hutsonville, and Oblong.
BGA points to the stability in academic programs that could come from a more robust pool of teachers. Legend has it that consolidation fails because nobody wants to lose their mascot.
But even though the towns are less than nine miles apart, with a total of only 750 students between them, voters decided by a count of 494 to 317 their school districts were stronger apart. With 852 districts — some with a single school, enrolling fewer than 100 students — consolidation comes up and gets voted down a lot, despite the having supporters in both political parties.
In fact, two different think tanks — the Better Government Association and the conservative Illinois Policy Institute — have advocated for more districts to consolidate.
The new report starts with a brief history of why district lines look so different state-to-state and even within states.
Since 1940, it shows, the number of districts in the country has shrunk from 117,000 to about 14,000, due to earlier efforts at consolidation.
But getting districts to merge, or consolidate, has proven difficult.