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He applauded one of the resolution's goals "to reduce administrative overhead."Not all lawmakers were sold. Will Tallman, R- Adams, said he was not sure the study would get the results Vereb and others want.

Illinois has the most units of local government of any state in the country.

Just ask voters in Valdosta, Ga., who in November 2011, by nearly a 4-to-1 ratio, rejected a ballot initiative that would have merged the Valdosta City and Lowndes County school districts.

The Valdosta Chamber of Commerce backed the proposed school merger and the local newspaper endorsed it, arguing uniting the two school systems would improve efficiency and the quality of education.

(Colt Shaw / The Morning Call) HARRISBURG —In an effort to trim taxpayer costs, a Montgomery County lawmaker has entered a long line of legislators looking to merge some of the state's 500 school districts.

The House Education Committee on Monday voted unanimously on a resolution calling for a study on the pros and cons of consolidating school districts. Vereb is looking for administrative savings by dissolving school district boundaries.

Here is a summary of the major findings from the literature: Here is some of the most recent and publicly available research.

For these reasons, decisions to deconsolidate or consolidate districts are best made on a case-by-case basis.

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.

The extent of consolidation varies across states due to their considerable differences in history, geography, population density, and politics.

The number of school districts varies widely from state to state.

Hawaii, for instance, has a single statewide school system.

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