- HB 1182, which would have increased the minimum school district size from 100 to 195, died in committee last Tuesday. (But watch out, Rutland, Montrose, et al.: HB 1254 is coming to the plate to take a swing at setting minimum enrollment at 250.)
- HB 1171 to exempt small schools that are the last school in a county from forced consolidation survived the House.
- SB 88 to protect sparsity is on track to pass.
How small is small? Try fall K-12 enrollment of 3,000. Districts with fewer than 3,000 students would need to share "superintendents, assistant superintendents, business managers, and other management level employees." HB 1293 would also create new boards to govern each administration region, consisting of one board member appointed by each constituent district's board.
Statewide, there are just five districts (SF, RC, Aberdeen, Watertown, and Brandon) with enrollments over 3000. By pure math, the other 152 school districts, with a total enrollment of just over 76,000 students, would have to combine into 25 administrative districts.
Some local perspective: if we combined every school district in Lake County (Madison Central, Rutland, Oldham-Ramona, and Chester), we'd have a total school enrollment of 1974. Add Arlington, Howard, and Colman-Egan, and we'd still be about a hundred kids shy of satisfying HB 1293. Madison could find itself in an eight-school administration district.
In other words, HB 1293 could get rid of seven superintendents and seven business managers in our neighborhood alone. 14 jobs, average pay... $50-60K? That could be $700K in savings. Any takers?