M.S. Ed. (Master of Education)
Department of Leadership and Educational Policy Studies
High schools--Illinois--Will County||Schools--Centralization--Illinois--Grundy County
The question of school consolidation and its effect on public education has been an issue since at least the 1930's. Most educational theorists feel that consolidation offers greater educational opportunities to the students within a community in the most efficient way. Historically, however, the communities are very protective of their local schools and often have protested against consolidation efforts. The purpose of this paper is to explore the various factors that impact on school consolidation. It will ask to what extent is school consolidation driven by educational, financial, political or other considerations? This case study of Minooka-Channahon's attempted consolidation reveals that educational goals become subordinated to political and economic conflicts. Sound pedagogy is not the central determiner of what happens in such negotiations. The attempt to consolidate the Minooka and Channahon schools failed due to Joliet's political opposition. The conclusion drawn is that Joliet's opposition is the culmination of frustration over various educational reform movements made in Illinois since the establishment of school districts in 1825, as well as a reflection of their own failed attempt to consolidate in the 1950's. A close examination is made of the political and legal struggles found in the Grundy County hearings dealing with the consolidation of Minooka and Channahon schools. The case becomes even more complicated since the districts cross county lines. Each county wanted to ensure its schools would receive or maintain the financial backing necessary to run efficient systems. The case becomes a political tug of war for control of previously government owned land that had been turned into highly profitable industrial developments. The focal point of contention in the consolidation of the Minooka and Channahon schools, revolved around the question of who would reap the financial benefits of this new tax base. In this case study, lose of local control gained new meaning in the consolidation issue. While the state legislature has been making improvements on the issue of school boundaries, their efforts may continue to be stymied if the laws can be circumvented with a show of political force. As long as property taxes continue to be the basis for school funding, the consolidaiton issue will continue to be fought on these turns, in order to maintain the status quo tax base of present school boundaries.
Craig, Judith M., "Analysis of the political and economic impact by the Joliet Township High School on the Minooka High School consolidation attempt" (1993). Graduate Research Theses & Dissertations. 1467.
[iv], 82 pages
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