GOP legislators want to create incentives for small school associations

We have seen it over the years, but mostly because of the student population. But now a GOP legislature says it should be encouraged to help smaller schools save money.


GOP Representative Brad Hawkins (East Wenatchee) plans to propose a bill in the January 2022 legislature to encourage smaller districts to consolidate when it makes sense.

We have seen this over the years in east WA largely due to the student population. Lind-Ritzville is a new school in recent years, there have been St. John-Endicott, Garfield-Palouse, Almira-Coulee-Hartline and a number of other “B” or “A” schools that have made it.

Hawkins says:

“… the average cost in state and local dollars during the 2019-2020 school year was $ 13,879 per student. For example, small school districts in the Hawkins Legislative District gave up to $ 22,125 (Orondo), $ 26,342 (Mansfield and $ 28,745 (Palisades) per student this year. “

“If we redefined school districts today based on our education spending, we wouldn’t have 295 different school districts in our state, especially if many of the small school districts spend much more than the national average per student. It doesn’t make sense for taxpayers. “

Its briefing sets out various financial incentives for such consolidations and explains how “spreading” the costs across districts (as a unit) can help manage the expenses more effectively.

The growing population in some areas of the state has had a dramatic impact on school classification in sport. For example, Walla Walla HS has now fallen from 4A to 3A, Sunnyside has grown to 4A a few years ago, and Kamiakin has increased from 3A to 4A.

Some areas that have “shrunk” in terms of population could benefit from consolidation.

To see more of the map, click the button below.

GOP page school consolidation

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