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Bill Would Reduce Number Of School Districts In Kansas

Christopher Sessums
flickr Creative Commons

Lawmakers will hold hearings this week on a bill that could trim back the number of school districts in Kansas significantly.

The bill sets requirements for the minimum size of districts. If districts are too small, they would be merged. The strategy behind the bill is efficiency, not by closing schools, but by consolidating administrations between schools districts.

Mark Tallman, with the Kansas Association of School Boards, spoke to education officials about the potential impact. He says the bill could affect local control.

“We have, generally speaking, smaller districts, smaller administrative organizations, smaller schools, which means the educational decisions are made closer to the people being served,” Tallman says.

The bill could cut the number of school districts in Kansas from nearly 300 to around 130.