Dr Steve Smith Consolidation Facts


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Dr Steve Smith's presentation on consolidation facts, supporting the Valdosta City Schools' opposition to consolidation.

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Dr Steve Smith Consolidation Facts

  1. 1. “ Why We Support the Valdosta City School System in Opposing Consolidation” Community Forum Lowndes County Schools Working Together for Excellence Every Day Issues of Consolidation Dr. Steve Smith, Superintendent
  2. 2. Lowndes County Board of Education <ul><li>“ Why We Support the Valdosta City School System in Opposing Consolidation” </li></ul><ul><li>Community Forum </li></ul><ul><li>Tuesday, October 4, 2011 </li></ul><ul><li> 7:00 pm – Lowndes High School Cafeteria </li></ul>Issues of Consolidation Dr. Steve Smith, Superintendent
  3. 3. What Makes Me Qualified to Address the Issue of Consolidation? <ul><li>Served as a professional educator for the past 37 years </li></ul><ul><li>Served as a classroom teacher for 13 years where I taught history, government, and economics </li></ul><ul><li>Served as a school level administrator for 12 years. Most of this time was serving as a high school principal </li></ul><ul><li>Served as superintendent for the past 12 years, the last 10 as the Lowndes County School System Superintendent </li></ul><ul><li>Earned a Ph.D. in Educational Policy Studies from Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia </li></ul>
  4. 4. We support our sister school system, the Valdosta City Schools, in its opposition to consolidation. <ul><ul><li>VCS is fighting for its very independence, its autonomy, and its very existence. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If we fail to support VCS in its stand to maintain its existence, this act would be akin to a hostile takeover. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We have full faith and confidence in the leadership, the faculty, and staff of the Valdosta City School System. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We are partners with the Valdosta City School System, working together with the same vision or focus, with the same mission, and using similar goals to achieve success for all students and staff. </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Key Points About Our Support of VCS <ul><li>The Valdosta City School System does not want to give up their schools. </li></ul><ul><li>Research indicates that consolidation will not increase student achievement. </li></ul><ul><li>Consolidation will cost more money. </li></ul>
  6. 6. The Essential Facts of Consolidation are <ul><li>There is little evidence of any increase in educational achievement as a result of consolidation. </li></ul><ul><li>Presumptions for Consolidation – Higher Educational Quality </li></ul><ul><li>1. The assumptions behind such claims are most often oversimplifications. </li></ul><ul><li>2. In terms of its influence on teaching and learning, school consolidation </li></ul><ul><li>efforts fail to deliver the promised enhancement of academics. </li></ul><ul><li>3. The higher the level of poverty, consolidation efforts can cause </li></ul><ul><li>irreversible damage. </li></ul><ul><li>National Education Policy Center </li></ul><ul><li>School of Education, University of Colorado at Boulder </li></ul><ul><li>Research by: Craig Howley, Jerry Johnson, Jennifer Petrie </li></ul><ul><li>February 2011 </li></ul>
  7. 7. The Cost to Taxpayers <ul><li>There is substantial evidence that consolidation will increase expenditures and ultimately increase the millage rate; therefore, taxes will increase for both city and county residents. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Research on Fiscal Efficiency <ul><li>School district consolidation does not on average reduce expenditures. </li></ul><ul><li>Other studies report increased costs, as operational costs are affected by diseconomies of scale resulting in increased expenditures for transportation, operations, management and supervision, security and guidance. </li></ul><ul><li>In many places, school districts are already too large for fiscal efficiency or educational quality. Deconsolidating is more likely than consolidating to achieve substantial efficiencies and improved outcomes. </li></ul><ul><li>Financial claims about widespread benefits of school consolidation are unsubstantiated by contemporary research about cost savings and learning. </li></ul><ul><li>National Education Policy Center </li></ul><ul><li>School of Education, University of Colorado at Boulder </li></ul><ul><li>Research by: Craig Howley, Jerry Johnson, Jennifer Petrie </li></ul><ul><li>February 2011 </li></ul>
  9. 9. School System Size <ul><li>In examining consolidation expenditures in New York State, it was determined that when consolidation occurred in districts 1,500 or less, capital costs decreased; however, capital costs increased with consolidation of districts in excess of 1,500 students. </li></ul><ul><li>Duncomb and Yinger, 2001 </li></ul>
  10. 10. Fiscal Efficiency Questioned <ul><li>A 2006 report from the Arizona Legislative Council found, “Using data from all states with the state as the unit of analysis, there was no evidence that larger school districts result in lower expenditures”. </li></ul><ul><li>Arizona Legislative Council, 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>The lack of fiscal savings also corresponds with the conclusion of the West Virginia study conducted by Deyong and Howley and the Challenge West Virginia Study by Martin, Lewis, and Switzer in 2002 </li></ul>
  11. 11. The Bottom Line <ul><li>District expenditures increased substantially in every line item. </li></ul><ul><li>The increase in expenditures is consistent with research pertaining to diseconomies of scale with consolidation. </li></ul><ul><li>In conclusion, after consideration of ten years of collective data from the Hamilton County, Tennessee consolidation, it is clear that the merger produced a less efficient and effective school district, one costing the taxpayers more with limited, if not, abated outcomes. </li></ul><ul><li>A Decade of Results: A Case for School District Consolidation? </li></ul><ul><li>Betty Cox and Becky Cox </li></ul><ul><li>University of Tennessee Martin </li></ul><ul><li>Study 1997-1998 to 2006-2007 school years </li></ul><ul><li>Hamilton County School System, Chattanooga, TN </li></ul>
  12. 12. Possible Reduction in Enrollment <ul><li>There is substantial evidence that consolidation will lead to a reduction in enrollment that will subsequently lead to a loss of funding from the State; therefore, further increasing the tax burden on local citizens. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Complexities of Consolidation <ul><li>Consolidating our two school systems is a very difficult problem that requires years of planning for a successful implementation. </li></ul><ul><li>The ballot question presented on the petition provides no time for transition; therefore, increasing the difficulty of consolidation. </li></ul><ul><li>Valdosta Daily Times editorial, (Sunday, September 4, 2011): </li></ul><ul><li>“ A vote for consolidation at this time is a vote for chaos” </li></ul><ul><li>County residents will also be affected by consolidation, yet they have been disenfranchised by CUEE not allowing them to have a vote and thus a voice in the decision. </li></ul><ul><li>IS THIS REALLY AN EFFORT FOR UNIFICATION????? </li></ul>
  14. 14. Economic Uncertainty <ul><li>We are living in an era of economic uncertainty. </li></ul><ul><li>We are in the midst of the worst recession of our lifetime. </li></ul><ul><li>Now is the worst of all possible times to consider consolidation or any other educational option that would result in an increase in the cost of operating the school system. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Winners and Losers <ul><li>It is virtually impossible from a financial perspective to do everything both systems are currently doing. </li></ul><ul><li>Considering the proposed “dream list” that CUEE has prepared, the cost of operating a consolidated school system will be astronomical. </li></ul><ul><li>There will be winners and losers and the complex dilemma will make the decisions made most difficult. </li></ul><ul><li>There will be a loss of jobs in a consolidated school system. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Oh the Challenges We Face <ul><li>Consolidation is not a “magic bullet” or a cure-all for the ills of education. </li></ul><ul><li>The same problems will exist in a consolidated system. </li></ul><ul><li>The primary obstacle to reaching our goals in education is poverty. </li></ul><ul><li>Consolidating our two school systems will not eliminate poverty or the problems associated with poverty. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Education is a Great Equalizer <ul><li>Imagine the difference that could and should have been made in the education of students in both school systems if the money the Chamber and CUEE will spend on the consolidation campaign had been spent on the education of </li></ul><ul><li>“ the children” </li></ul><ul><li>Actions do speak louder than words </li></ul>
  18. 18. Lowndes County Schools Working Together for Excellence Every Day