Janina Rey Echols Harrison
I personally have viewed consolidation efforts as creating larger bureacracy with less accountability to local citizens.
Where I lived in a large city before the biggest consolidation was the school districts. These had huge budgets paying for lots of staff, supervisors sometimes having limos and drivers so they could ‘work’ while they were driving (is that really good stewardship of money that should go to educating our children?). When you needed to communicate, you were passed around, no one taking responsibility to help.
I thought back to my childhood where the community hired local school staff and they were directly accountable to the parents and children of that community. The large school districts don’t have that feeling of being engaged in the community. The teachers probably live in another community so they don’t have a personal connection that makes them more engaged in that community. PTA did fund raising. We had full on labs for science, fully stocked home ec rooms and shops, music and art rooms. Now schools are stripped bare, no extras.
The community I live in now is very rural. The teachers are more engaged in the community. Housing is provided in the community. They live among the people they serve and see the children they teach around the community. This puts a more personal face on the results they achieve and I see better results. I volunteer at the school and see more effort.
This is just an example.