Consolidation Plans Being Pushed in Kansas

Last Updated: March 26, 2010

This article appeared in the March 2010 Rural Policy Matters.

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Last month a Kansas Legislative Post Audit report encouraged additional school district consolidation in the state, and lawmakers have quickly responded with legislation. One bill introduced would have financially penalized small districts based solely on their size. House Education Committee Chair Clay Aurand, the bill’s sponsor, said he wanted the financial pressure to force districts into consolidation rather than state mandate to do so. Kansas House members rejected that portion of the bill. Another bill before the same committee would require that districts be required to have a minimum of 10,000 students, an untenable requirement as pointed out by rural leadership. Still another bill would allow consolidation talks to take place among three or more districts. Current law restricts consolidation planning talks to two districts.

Read more:

Coverage of reaction to Aurand’s bill here:

Details on rejection of the Aurand proposal:

A Kansas education policy blog has compiled detailed coverage of state legislative proposals and other consolidation news and analysis here:

Last month’s local coverage of rural districts’ reaction to the Post Audit report:

Read more from the March 2010 Rural Policy Matters.