From Steve Willson, bond analyst from Lakewood, on what might happened if unit districts were formed to replace grade and high school districts:
In addition to the new combined district paying salaries at the higher contract rate, there is the “bureaucratic imperative”.
I’ve analyzed the finances of all the school districts in Illinois over several different years.
Every time I find the same conclusions.
* There is no correlation between expenditures per student and test scores or graduation rates.
* There is no correlation between teacher pay and student outcomes.
* There is no correlation between teacher experience and student outcomes. * There is only one statistically significant relationship: larger school districts spend more per pupil than small districts.
People often suggest that “economies of scale” will lead to lower costs, like in private business. What they miss is that private business are motivated by profit to cut expenses, while governments lack such an incentive, indeed, are motivated to spend as much as possible.
If you combine three school districts, you’ll lose two superintendents.
But in short order, you’ll gain many more assistant superintendents, assistant principals, curriculum coordinators and other administrators.
These are the facts, born out by our own experience right here in Illinois.