•  
  •  
 

Abstract

As state governments shrink their budgets, more school districts are debating consolidation. In considering school consolidation, governments must evaluate costs per pupil and student achievement. Factors associated with costs per pupil include schools per district, district enrollment, income per individual, percent of pupils eligible for free lunch, pupil-teacher ratio, and average teacher salary. Factors associated with achievement include school enrollment, percent of pupils eligible for free lunch, suspension/expulsion rates, pupil-teacher ratio, and average teacher salary. This paper presents a regression model that analyzes the effects of school enrollment and schools per district on costs per pupil and standardized test passing rates in Indiana elementary and secondary schools. This model employed data from the Indiana Department of Education and the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. The results showed that districts with more schools had higher costs per pupil and that a school’s enrollment had no significant effect on student achievement. In addition, the results suggest that school consolidation could cut costs while not necessarily lowering student achievement levels.