Consolidation proves popular…
Turns out, more folks are prepared to merge school districts than I had anticipated. I predicted in this space that about half of the consolidation plans sent out to voters would pass, turns out that 12 of 18 did.
I had thought opposition in Freeport would spell the end of that plan, with opposition in SAD 38 sinking its merger with SAD 48. Wishful thinking, I guess – both those plans will end school choice for a number of students.
A number of plans are still waiting to go, and plans that were rejected still have time to be reworked and put back in front of voters in January. The big question will be whether the state moves forward to impose penalties on those districts not in compliance. They are likely to if most plans pass, unlikely to if most plans fail, I would guess. So far, 2 out of 3 are passing, which will embolden the administration to keep pushing the merger effort forward in the face of what is likely to be at least some legislative opposition.
Democrats have built large majorities in both the Senate and House. Will they oppose the administration’s effort? Unlikely. Consolidation is here to stay.