“In Maine, protests from larger and wealthier towns won them exemptions from the state’s consolidation law. Fifty-five percent of the students in the state were in districts that were ultimately exempt from reorganization. Those districts forced to consolidate are mostly Down East, in the far north of the state, or in the “rural rim” between the interstate corridor and the Northern Territories. The anger was so profound that the Legislature amended the law to allow towns to back out of their consolidated district.”
Lesson 1: You don’t save money, but you change who gets it.
Lesson 2: Consolidation is about closing schools, not districts.
Lesson 3: Consolidation is something the wealthy and powerful force on the less wealthy and less powerful.
Lesson 4: Consolidation increases children’s time on buses and crimps participation.
For more lessons, and a thorough explanation for each of these, read the entire piece by Marty Strange here: