Then, in 1946, various stakeholders failed in their attempt to pass legislation that would result in the consolidation of another 1,500 school districts in an effort to provide high schools for all students, as many districts were only offering education through the eighth grade. At issue were the methods for appealing closure decisions, the loss of local control, the length of student commutes, and the loss of education jobs.This time, the consolidation measure passed by a popular vote, and more than 1,100 school districts were closed between 19.Early efforts to consolidate Arkansas’s many small rural schools began under Governor George Donaghey (1909–1913).
However, since only 111 students were enrolled in Paron High School during the 2005–06 school year, the Bryant School Board voted to close Paron High School starting in April of that year and to move those students to Bryant High, which was a thirty-mile bus ride away.
Despite the fact that Paron High did not have the staff to offer the state’s thirty-eight required courses, or the money to balance its budget, Paron community members were outraged and petitioned the State Board of Education to keep the school open.
Paron High supporters protested at the hearing with signs, but the board affirmed the decision to close the school for the 2006–07 school year.
In Arkansas, between 20, 121 districts were directly touched by consolidation or annexation, either as affected or receiving districts.
These districts are geographically scattered throughout the various rural regions of the state.
Advocates of school consolidation believe that closing small schools or combining the administrative services will lead to economies of scale.