Degree Name

Education Specialist (EdS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

David E. Bartz


The focus of this study is to provide a model for determining current attitudes toward school district reorganization so that a school board can gain local community data. The small rural school districts of central Illinois are finding fewer and fewer options when considering maintaining or increasing the quality of education in their communities. Illinois school reform legislation of 1985 included a section on school district reorganization which was an effort to reduce the number of districts and increase the quality of education. However, the sentiment was so strong against forced reorganization that the plan for reorganization died a political death. After a review of the literature and research, a model was developed for identifying local influential groups who were questioned on common areas of concern about reorganization. In the application of the model, influentials in Tuscola, Arcola, Atwood/Hammond, and Villa Grove school districts were surveyed for their attitudes toward reorganization. An analysis of the data collected showed the areas of concern in each of the surveyed districts, and the problems that each board must confront if reorganization is to be a viable option at some time for its district. The data collected indicated a strong concern for the welfare of the business life of the community and a desire to retain control of the local schools.