You nailed it with more I had not thought of. This is something that needs to change at these small schools at the HS level. I would like to see some of those schools take the $ saved and spend on curriculum and resource officers for security. Some of the schools have rough images for a reason.
Prairie Grove, Lincoln, and Farmington are pretty close but they are all successful schools with pretty successful extracurricular programs. The are financially viable. You won’t see them consolidating and for what purpose? A 4A or 5A classification? I’m not sure you understand how big they are now. I know you said you were a Fayetteville Bulldog but those communities are growing like crazy now.
Most of the school districts you speak of in NEA are pretty good. Do you think Valley View wants to consolidate with Jonesboro? Perhaps Hoxie and Walnut Ridge, but there are reasons that are all important to those school districts that they aren’t consolidated. I’ve not seen the list of schools they used to put out that are financially or academically in trouble in a while.
Do you not think the coaches in LR/Central AR want those kids to come out and play? Again, the issue is so much bigger than just DMac or Portis getting more involved. Even in private schools some of the best athletes aren’t playing football anymore.
And take a look at Mississippi or Louisiana, those areas have just as many small town schools and many of them might meet your criteria for consolidation, but they are cranking out more athletes playing football so I don’t think it’s because of consolidation or the lack thereof.
You are correct about PG, Lincoln and Farmington being stable and good academically at this time. The rub is that our macroeconomic world is impacting our microeconomic world via reduced industrial and retail tax bases. The future is trending to LESS and LESS tax base at the current rate, so what are these school districts going to do with less and less money?
School districts are losing more and more money from lack of industry and online retailing. A sad reality. The LR and PB issues are cultural as much as anything but policies are exacerbating the issue.
As a M.B.A. and ex school board member of a AA school, I have to comment here.
Ark schools are funded by property taxes collected in the district. If that total isn’t to a certain amount, the state equalizes it to the same per student level. Sales taxes and moving factories don’t affect funding.
Common core means most schools teach the same things in every school. They have to test to those common core subjects. If you move from a small school to a large one you should be at the same teaching point.
Our school has been consolidated. It doesn’t save money . It is not pro sports. You have kids in two communities that compete for one team instead of two. We lose too many out of sports in the 7,8 and 9 grades because of the numbers and lack of coaches. The school has to find chemistry and math teachers instead of coaches.
Most of the pro consolidation idiots in the Huckaby years were from little rock and pine bluff who have the worst schools now. Both areas need to address crime to improve. Little Rock needs to be broken down into smaller independent school districts around the AAAA size. They would save on transportation and be able to cultivate football teams . A coach at a Little Rock school makes the same or less than at a smaller school. The community of Nashville, which has the best athletic program in sw ark, raises extra money to pay their coach more that the school does. They just raised 600k to AstroTurf the football field. Do you see that in little rock?
Nw ark high schools tend to have more coaches that work year round with their kids in sports. How do you hire more coaches?
I hope this helps.
Prairie Grove, Lincoln and Farmington are also all 4A districts, meaning they’re pretty decent sized. Lincoln is 360 students according to its Wikipedia page. Prairie Grove is 520. Farmington is 454.
In your area, Jonesboro, Nettleton and Westside are all good-sized schools.
Frankly, consolidation of districts like that would result in fewer athletes coming out, not more. Because Jonesboro can only play 11 at a time. The fact is the players who are getting on the field are getting most of the coaching. Combining every Craighead County district (I count eight of them, including a couple that don’t have football) into one would cut the number of players who get an opportunity to thrive.
Look, every school district, unless it is located on an island somewhere, butts up against other districts. By that standard, Little Rock and North Little Rock should consolidate, because they are adjoining (and it could be argued that might improve their athletics, if not their education; NLR has managed to avoid the issues that plague LRSD athletics).
I don’t disagree that some consolidation of smaller schools, particularly the ones that are too small to have football, might help. Consolidating bigger districts like Jonesboro or Nettleton or Prairie Grove is just counterproductive.
As I said on a post further up the chain in this thread, some schools are too big and that is just as bad as being too small. A great example for Jonesboro that you emphasized from a previous post of mine would leave Jonesboro alone, while consolidating Valley View and Westside. Then create a consolidation of Nettleton, Bay, and Brookland along the eastern side of Jonesboro. You would go from 6 school districts to 3. You would have 3 high schools and 3 administrations to remove redundancies. You would have improved curriculum.
I think you are mistaken that sales taxes and moving factories don’t affect funding. They do affect funding but you espouse the merits of the State covering financial deficiencies. I don’t believe it is acceptable to have the state bail out a school district because it can’t cover expenses while also being a redundancy issue with a neighboring school/community. In #3 You answered part of the reason why consolidation is good - offering advanced math and science curriculum. Were you complaining about having to hire chemistry and math teachers? I’ve seen consolidation happen and it cost more because one community bullied the other to build a new school in their community instead of using existing buildings. They also lost money because they wouldn’t change staffing by moving admins back into teaching.