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.