Pa. Politics: District Mergers = A Contradictory Policy Position by Republicans

The Pennsylvania House Education Committee voted unanimously to conduct a study about merging school districts in Pennsylvania. I’d urge them also to conduct research on the educational effects that mergers have on students because larger isn’t usually better in educational practice, but that is a different post for a different day.

In this post, I would like to point something out: This proposal by Republican lawmakers is contradictory to their stated philosophy about another educational issue: charter schools. Let me explain.

Republicans in Pennsylvania are very much in favor of charter school policy. That is, more schools, more choices, and more administrators. In a sense, this is de-consolidation policy by providing more schooling organizations to offer a greater array of choices. How is consolidating school districts in line with this philosophy? Do Republicans want to save money? Or do they want a greater array of choices? More school districts = more choices. On the other hand,  having more charter schools and stretching out fixed costs across expanded schooling organizations is not consolidation and does not save money.

Which is it Republicans, consolidation or not? As it stands, this proposal suggests contradiction.

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