Does Consolidation Save Money?

We’ve warned before about the perils of district consolidation.  Now comes come information from Rhode Island and Minnesota on the subject of consolidation and state-mandated purchasing pools, respectively.

From Rhode Island:

“Using a business model, consolidation of services makes sense.  But when government mandates such actions and higher levels of governance are created, accountability suffers and costs rise.”

And from Minnesota:

“While sharing services is a no-brainer, adding another mandate makes no sense.  Neither does creating a state-run purchasing pool complete with “preferred” state vendors.  To create real efficiencies, let us urge a much broader upsetting of the apple-cart.”

In other words, there’s room to be saved from jointly procured services.  But state leaders ought to have a light hand when it comes to bringing that about. Reducing financial support and letting school officials respond is better than state officials getting too far into the details.

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