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Article

Managing Size of Public Schools and School Boards: A Multi-Level Cost Approach Applied to Dutch Primary Education

1
Faculty Technology, Policy and Management, Delft University of Technology, P.O. Box 5015, 2600 GA Delft, The Netherlands
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Institute for Public Sector Efficiency (IPSE) Studies, Rotterdamseweg 183C, 2629 HD Delft, The Netherlands
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Faculty Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Erasmus University Rotterdam, P.O. Box 1738, 3000 DR Rotterdam, The Netherlands
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(23), 6662; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11236662
Received: 8 October 2019 / Revised: 7 November 2019 / Accepted: 20 November 2019 / Published: 25 November 2019
In many countries, the provision of primary education is among the core responsibilities of local governments. One of the main questions local governments face concerns the optimal configuration of school boards and size of schools. In this paper we analyse the relation between cost and scale in school boards and in schools. The influence of both the governing layer (board) and the operational layer (school) on average cost are jointly modelled. Board cost is modelled as an aggregation of individual school cost functions so that individual school cost data are not required in order to estimate the model. The results indicate that small schools (<60) pupils are operating under sizable economies of scale. The optimum school size is estimated at roughly 450 pupils, but average cost remains roughly constant with regard to size. In contrast to school size, the effect of board size (in terms of the number of schools governed) on average cost is limited. The policy recommendation is that municipalities should create at least three schoolboards within their jurisdiction and take measures in case individual school size declines below 60 pupils. View Full-Text
Keywords: local government; cost model; economies of scale; multi scaling; schools; school boards local government; cost model; economies of scale; multi scaling; schools; school boards
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MDPI and ACS Style

Blank, J.L.T.; Niaounakis, T.K. Managing Size of Public Schools and School Boards: A Multi-Level Cost Approach Applied to Dutch Primary Education. Sustainability 2019, 11, 6662. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11236662

AMA Style

Blank JLT, Niaounakis TK. Managing Size of Public Schools and School Boards: A Multi-Level Cost Approach Applied to Dutch Primary Education. Sustainability. 2019; 11(23):6662. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11236662

Chicago/Turabian Style

Blank, Jos L.T., and Thomas K. Niaounakis 2019. "Managing Size of Public Schools and School Boards: A Multi-Level Cost Approach Applied to Dutch Primary Education" Sustainability 11, no. 23: 6662. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11236662

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