Disadvantages consolidating schools

House Education Committee votes unanimously Monday on a resolution that asks for a legislative study on the pros and cons of consolidating some for the state’s 500 school districts.

(Colt Shaw / The Morning Call) HARRISBURG —In an effort to trim taxpayer costs, a Montgomery County lawmaker has entered a long line of legislators looking to merge some of the state's 500 school districts.

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Speakers focused on such areas as New Jersey, North Carolina, and Tennessee schools.

A frequent question to the Reference Desk, and one currently receiving increased national attention due to budget challenges, is whether consolidating school districts might result in lower overall costs for education.

Merging school districts could help taxpayers in counties where student populations are dropping, said Rep.

Kathy Rapp, R-Warren, whose district covers vast rural areas of northwest Pennsylvania."I know that there are pros and cons to consolidation but at the end of the day it is a savings to the taxpayers in the county and certainly when we're looking at declining populations and maybe other excessive expenditures, I think this a good idea," Rapp said.

In cases like this, consolidating your student loans could help you manage your loans more efficiently. Here’s what to keep in mind before you dive into student loan consolidation.

If you have multiple federal student loans and want to simplify your payments, consolidating can be a smart strategy.

You’ll get a new loan equal to the combined amount of your old loans.

It will have a fixed interest rate based on a weighted average of the loans you consolidate.

Simply put, this is the process of combining your multiple student loans into a single, bigger loan, possibly with a new lender.

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