The new school governance law, Act 46, is simply the most recent wave in almost two centuries of contentious school consolidation debates. Amazingly, the claims, disagreements and philosophical differences remain unchanged.
The primary conflict is between advocates marching under the flag of local democracy, closely tied to the community and the people, versus those with a particular reform agenda. The latter contend the current system is antiquated, inefficient and unresponsive to population changes and financial limitations. The tides affecting these contending forces include at least three historic enrollment recessions, the economy, the national consolidation movements, and changes in educational philosophy. Plain political power disputes came into kaleidoscopic display as state politicians and vested interest groups sought centralized powers while locals resisted such “usurpations.”[…]
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