This lack of resilience will only be covered up by consolidation, the day of reckoning pushed off and made more difficult as a result.Instead of consolidation, we should embrace the core strength of our system; an ability to innovate.Multi-million dollar bonds to construct large, centralized facilities made more sense before gas.The reality today is that, no matter how high fuel costs go, we'll be busing kids for miles each way, unable to walk away from these massive investments we've made (no pun intended).The idea is that local governments are not efficient enough and therefore we can increase efficiency by combining them into fewer governments.Like the banking sector, fewer players means more efficiency.
The good old days - which weren't really all that good, in retrospect - are long gone. And on top of it all, the electorate (that's us) seems mad as hell and unwilling to wait for any type of long-term "transformation" to take place. The first thing to try is to borrow money, spend the rainy day fund and cook the books a little hoping this whole thing will blow over soon. The next thing is to borrow seriously more money, try some "stimulus" in the form of more spending and/or less taxes, and basically inject some adrenaline into the heart of the economy to try and bring it back to life. Now we are at the point where we start to talk about changing the way we do things.In other words, we've come kicking and screaming into the "transformation" phase.But this is the Consolidation is a response to the notion that our problem is essentially one of efficiency.Many of today's school districts are geographically huge, especially in rural areas.Increased size means more bureaucracy and more red tape, increasing the distance between teacher and administrator, between classroom and parent.
Fundamentally, our cities are all pretty much the same. When growth slows or stalls, our cities go into decline.