Administrative salaries in school districts end up consuming a significant portion of public funding.
Because economic crises often provoke calls for consolidation as a means of increasing government efficiency, the contemporary interest in consolidation is not surprising.
However, the review of research evidence detailed in this brief suggests that a century of consolidation has already produced most of the efficiencies obtainable.
Nearly all districts have superintendents and secretaries, as well as additional personnel in human resources, special education, facilities management, business management and technology.
Many districts retain at least one assistant superintendent as well.
Arguments for consolidation, which merges schools or districts and centralizes their management, rest primarily on two presumed benefits: (1) fiscal efficiency and (2) higher educational quality.