In South Carolina, as in other states around the nation, school district consolidation is a
This year, in addition to the usual bill to force consolidation by county, state leaders are
promoting possible financial incentives to encourage district and school mergers, including
leveling teacher pay for districts that consolidate and funding construction for schools that
agree to merge.
Consolidation is always a convenient talking point, far easier in every state than tackling hard decisions about
adequately funding districts in poor areas. It’s important to realize, though, that while mergers may serve the
interests of some districts, what’s good for some isn’t necessarily right for all. As an abundance of research
shows, consolidation is not the financial panacea its proponents imply, nor is it necessarily in the best
academic interest of many of our state’s students.