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Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

Dividing Large Florida School Districts Would Pose Financial, Legal, Other Complex Challenges, Report No. 08-26, April 2008
 
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  • Florida’s 67 public school districts are among the largest in the country and include 7 of the nation’s 27 districts of 100,000 or more students.  In recent years, there have been several proposals to split up the state’s large school districts to improve student performance and district responsiveness to parents and communities.
  • While research has not found that there is an optimum student population size for public school districts, several states including California, Hawaii, and Utah have made efforts to reorganize their large school districts.  However, only Utah is currently pursuing school district division.  If the Legislature were to pursue a policy allowing large Florida school districts to divide, constitutional and boundary issues would need to be resolved.  In addition, several financial, legal, and other areas would need to be addressed, some of which may be particularly complex. 
  • The Legislature could consider several options to begin the process of subdividing large public school districts.  These options include establishing a panel to develop specific proposals to address the issues associated with subdivision as well as proposing a constitutional amendment to allow large districts to subdivide.

Which Government Program Summaries contain related information?

Public Schools (K-12 Education)
Education System

    Copies of this report in print or alternate accessible format may be obtained by telephone (850/488-0021), by FAX (850/487-9213), in person, or by mail (OPPAGA Report Production, Claude Pepper Building, Room 312, 111 W. Madison St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1475).
    e-mail address: oppaga@oppaga.fl.gov


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