In response to the 4/24/2012 post, “The Superintendent’s Corner: Consolidation,” a reader writes:

SC,

I grow weary of the leadership in Texas, and a majority of politicians, touting the saving of money by consolidating small school districts while they continue to provide the means to create small charter schools. If there is an economic disadvantage to small districts, why would you continue to create small districts? There is never a mention of consolidating small inefficient charter schools.

SC Response An excellent observation and one that Dr. Mike Seabolt and I have been discussing recently.  There have been two major thrusts of our rhetoric.

1. As you reference, if small is monetarily inefficient is one setting, the same holds true in similar settings.  From a policy standpoint either small is good, small is neutral, or small is bad.  Make the choice, set a direction and go forward.  Unfortunately, this is seemingly beyond our current political leadership.

2. The far right has both made political hay and justified their defunding of public education with the idea that school districts are top heavy with overpaid administrators, facts be damned.  However, the worst offenders, in terms of the number of administrators versus the number of certified teachers have been charter schools. And the worst offenders, in terms of the amount of administrator salary per student, have been charter schools.  Yet these offending charters (note: Not All Charters) essentially get a free pass from the far right. Could it be that there is some sort of anti-public school agenda in play?

Understand that this is not an anti-charter school position.  This is the recognition that those who want to dismantle public education have no problem playing fast and loose with the facts.  And even when their arguments make sense they will abandon that logic at any time it is contrary to their agenda.

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