California has 940 school districts, the most of any state in America. By comparison, Florida has just 63. A California lawmakers audit in 2014 shows district consolidation would save hundreds of millions of dollars in the annual school budget. For example, each of those 940 districts has  it’s own administrators. In California a superintendent is paid roughly $200,000 a year – that’s 190 million dollars from the state school budget annually. Add assistant superintendents and that’s another 90 million dollars, totaling almost $300 million a year spent on school administrators in California, not students. Money that could help California schools during state budget shortfalls.

That $300 million more than covers the yearly state budget for literacy programs in California. And is enough to fund Governor Newsom’s new directive for high-need underperforming schools each year.

A state audit revealed that 80 percent of districts in California are experiencing declining enrollment. State COVID closures lead to a record number of parents home schooling, and private school enrollment went up. California schools lost almost 600,000 students since the pandemic. Add the millions more are leaving California for states with lower cost of living and less crime… and the student population is shrinking to its lowest in decades.

Consolidating the districts would make sense and save money, but the California teachers unions do not support it. In 2022 Oakland schools proposed consolidation. Teachers walked out, which led to schools being shut down. The union claims district closures would harm students of color. State lawmakers never acted on the recommendations to consolidate and help taxpayer dollars benefit students rather than bureaucracy.