Alt Title

Department of Secondary Education

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Nelson, Robert H.||Belnap, Ralph A.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Secondary Education


School districts; Schools--Centralization--Illinois--Coal City


Purpose of Investigation The purpose of this study was to determine the five most influential factors which contributed to the success of and the five most influential factors which opposed the March 14, 1964, referendum for unit reorganization in the Coal City Township High School District Number 98. Procedure Federal and state statistical reports were used to show the national and Illinois trend toward school district reorganization. Then, important issues for and against school district reorganization wore sought in the literature. These issues were later used to construct a check list which structured the interviews. Each area was described and a historical statement was made of the reorganization changes which occurred in the area between 1954 end 1964. It was hoped that a knowledge of such school district and the local trend toward reorganization might help to locate the issues which effected the referendum results. Finally, by a random number selection, interviewees were selected from the area whose vote opposed and from the area whose vote favored the referendum. The data from these interviews was tabulated to show the reasons which voters thought to have opposed and favored the March 14, 1964, referendum. Summary and Conclusions The national reduction in school districts was 75.4 percent between 1931 and 1964. Illinois reduced 88.1 percent, or 10,525, school districts between 1945 and 1964. No other state eliminated more districts. Three elementary and one high school district were involved in the 1964 referendum. They were: Districts 800, 88, 98, and a part of District 49. The most significant fact - which effected the referendum results - about the description of these districts was that District 88, with an enrollment of 25 pupils, had an assessed valuation of $12,144,779. District 800, with 483 pupils, had a valuation of $12,817,222. A unit reorganization referendum failed in the unincorporated precincts of this area in 1959. One of the rural districts involved, District 78, was annexed to District 800, by state recommendation, in 1963. This area stood to gain in 1964 from the addition of the valuation gain brought about by inclusion of District 88. The March 14 referendum succeeded. From interviews made in District 88, which voted down the referendum proposition, the five factors opposing the referendum - i rank order - were: 1. Reorganization causes an increase in tax rate. 2. Reorganization causes children to have to get up earlier and to ride on school buses for a longer period of time. 3. Some people effected by reorganization prefer small schools over large schools, because they believe small schools offer superior instruction. 4. Some people effected by reorganization feel that the close relationship between the home and the school will weaken. 5. Some people effected by reorganization do not want the school plant to be taken out of the neighborhood. The five factors cited by voters - as those contributing to the success of the referendum - in the remaining area were: 1. Reorganization causes simplicity in organization by having a unit rather than dual districts. 2. Reorganization causes an opportunity for instruction with the use of more modern instructional aids. 3. Reorganization causes the opportunity to receive a more comprehensive program in the larger schools. 4. Reorganization causes a decrease in the tax rate. 5. Reorganization causes more specialized services such as band, vocal music, and physical education to exist. Recommendations for Further Research The area in which greatest need of research exists is in determining: (1) how many school districts Illinois should have, (2) when reorganization is desirable, (3) the change brought by reorganization in (a) supervision of instruction, (b) in-service training, (c) teacher profession and (d) student achievement, and (4) the effects of reorganization upon (a) socialization of children, (b) elementary and secondary school articulation, (c) the status of small schools, and (d) curriculum advantages.


Includes bibliographical references.||Includes illustrations.


x, 105 pages




Northern Illinois University

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