Pueblo School Districts Could Do Even Better Than Just Sharing Services

My mom and dad have been drilling the importance of sharing into me for years. I’ve finally got it down now (okay, for the most part). But as far as I recall, sharing my Legos or Matchbox cars with other kids has never been encouraged as a way to save money.

I guess it’s a little different when it comes to school districts and “sharing” services. A recent article in the Pueblo Chieftain offers an account of a new development in the region’s two largest school districts:

Talk of consolidating Pueblo City Schools and Pueblo County School District 70 may be too early right now, but the concept of sharing services is not.

School board members and administrators from both districts met Thursday in a work session to discuss possible areas where they could share services in an effort to save money and be more efficient.

In addition to administrative services, it was mentioned that Pueblo City Schools and District 70 possibly could share “special education services, purchasing, maintenance, career and technical education and transportation.” If such a move saves money for taxpayers, and allows schools to go about their work more efficiently and focus more on helping students learn, then we all should give three cheers. But we should also recognize the real limitations.

Even if the two districts decided to take the big step of consolidating, it wouldn’t save a tremendous amount. If they really are interested in saving money and achieving efficiency, these districts should look at what privatization of services has to offer.

Beyond sharing services, Pueblo City Schools and District 70 would be even better served by sharing the opportunity for their teachers to decide for themselves whether they want to join or support a union with their hard-earned money.