Graphic C1 displays in gray the Michigan school districts whose head counts in the 2005-2006 school year[*] exceeded 2,911 students, the school district size at which per-pupil operating spending appears to be minimized. Of Michigan’s 552 conventional public school districts, 160 had head counts that were greater than 2,911 students, while 391 had head counts that were less. (The state provided no head count for White Pine School District.)
Achieving the theoretical $31 million savings in annual operating spending from school district consolidations in Michigan would require redrawing the borders of the districts colored white in order to produce a series of districts enrolling 2,911 students apiece. The exact head count for each district in the 2005-2006 school year appears in Graphic C2 (see link to table below); rows in gray are districts where the head count exceeded 2,911, while rows in white are districts where the head count was less than 2,911. As a group, districts with fewer than 2,911 students enroll only 30 percent of the total public school population (excluding charter schools), according to the 2005-2006 school year figures shown in Graphic C2.
Graphic C1: Map of Michigan School Districts by Head Count
[*] The 2005-2006 school year is the most recent for which school district head count data are available from the state government’s Center for Educational Performance & Information.