Small school systems dispute consolidation report

Anderson, Ind. Indiana school officials are taking issue with a report by Ball State researchers that suggests consolidation of smaller districts might be inevitable.

The Ball State University Center for Business and Economic Research says dwindling enrollment and rising education costs could force small schools to join forces to reduce overhead.

The idea of school consolidation has been floated for years, and some districts have initiated discussions. But few have followed through, and legislation introduced several years ago to force consolidation of schools with fewer than 1,000 students failed.

The Herald-Bulletin ( ) reports many districts don't want to lose their autonomy and question how much they would save.

Ball State researcher Michael Hicks says school and community leaders might someday have no alternative as enrollment drops and education costs rise.

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