In 2001, Manitoba’s Minister of Education announced that the number of school boards in the province would be reduced from 54 to 37.
One of the main reasons given for the change was efficiency, that the reduction of unnecessary duplication would save up to $10 million.
Despite that prediction, overall spending by amalgamated school divisions has been greater than it was prior to amalgamation.
Administrative cost savings have been almost negligible, with reductions in the order of only 2.6%, or half a million dollars, in amalgamated school divisions.
A previous Frontier backgrounder, Amalgamating School Boards Not an Answer, had found virtually no correlation between school board size and per-pupil expenditures. This finding is confirmed in the analysis of post-amalgamation school division expenditures.
Upward wage harmonization and the equalization of working conditions are largely responsible for substantial increases in personnel costs in amalgamated school divisions.
The time and energy spent on the amalgamation process would have been better directed towards meaningful education reform.