A Michigan State University study says Michigan public schools would save over $600 million, or about four percent of their total school budgets, by consolidating the present 550 districts along county lines. The savings would come from realigning services and trimming redundant administrative layers once the districts were consolidated. It would involve no school closings.
A less effective alternative—sharing services like foodservice and transportation within counties while keeping the districts independent otherwise—would still save about $328 million, the study finds. With declining enrollment and reduced revenues statewide, Michigan has been exploring ways to cut costs. The state has the nation's fifth highest number of school districts.