District OR-1:
Consolidation and
Organizational
Stability
Overview
• Community/District context
• Consolidation movement
• Organizational Stability Theory
• District OR-1case
• Fut...
Palmyra
Bennet
Douglas
District OR-1 Public Schools
128.7 square miles
Bennet, Nebraska
• Population of 730 (2011)
• Community growth trend (29%)
• Comparatively high rate of
construction
• 62,...
Palmyra, Nebraska
• Population of 548 (2011)
• Flat Growth:
• “Last week was the first sale I’ve
seen since I’ve been here...
Douglas, Nebraska
• Population of 173 (2011)
• Decline (15% loss)
• $38,500 annual income
• 3.2 % poverty
Palmyra
Bennet
Douglas
District OR-1 Public Schools
County Line
Palmyra
Bennet
Douglas
District OR-1 Public Schools
County Line
Phenomenon of School
District Consolidation
• 1939-1940 – 117,108 districts
• 2006-2007 – 13,862 districts
• Decline of 88...
And in Nebraska….
• 1,044 school districts in 1984
• 257 school districts in 2005
Crogswell, 2009, p. 20
State Policies and Consolidation
• Nebraska funding rewards consolidation
• Open enrollment exerts a negative impact
on ru...
Brief Overview of Nebraska
Policy Related to
Consolidation
LB 806: Cost Grouping
• Funding group influenced by “county population
density” or proximity to next 9-12 school
• Distric...
Argument FOR Consolidation:
District Economic Efficiency
o Lower administrative costs
o Shared & fewer facilities, reduced...
Argument AGAINST Consolidation:
Rural Community Instability
• Social capital
o Community identity & Cultural centers
• Fis...
Principles of Community
and School District Stability
• Principle of centripetalism
• Principle of inclusiveness
• Princip...
Principle of centripetalism
o Tendency of various social and economic
forces to centralize. Residents buy, sell, and
trade...
“School consolidation makes
schooling a more cost-effective
enterprise, but it does so by rupturing
the connection between...
What does organizational stability theory
tell us about…..
• District OR-1?
• Each community in the service
area?
Palmyra
Bennet
Douglas
District OR-1 Public Schools
• Palmyra-Bennet merger, 1965
• Douglas dissolution in 1985
Centripetalism
• District population center has shifted from
Palmyra to Bennet.
• “In other districts where I‟ve worked, t...
Inclusiveness and Distinctiveness
• Multiple very strong communities, all of
which USED to have their own schools
and now ...
Inclusiveness and Distinctiveness
• Each community has its own sports teams, and
this only increases the competition among...
Inclusiveness and Distinctiveness
• “Douglas is a patchwork quilt.”
• When a new family comes in, the first
thing that I a...
How to deal with growth in this situation?
• District OR-1 is uniquely situated in a geographic
location that is enjoying ...
Palmyra
Bennet
Douglas
District OR-1 Public Schools
Resources
Berry, C. (2006/2007) School consolidationa nd Inequality, brookings papers on Education Policy, 9, 49-75.
Blauw...
Notable items
• Some have argued that the school equalization formulas
are taxpayer equalization rather than school equali...
Or1 ppt final
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  • 15 miles SE of LincolnConsolidated district serving Palmyra, Bennet, and DouglasNearbysyracuse-dunbar-avoca serves over 600 students
  • Hwy – 43
  • Census.govNE statehood in1867Bennet is 3rd fastest community in NE Original school known as District B. Consolidated and became District 151. 1966, merged with Palmyra to form District OR-1.(Virtual Nebraska_Our Towns, 2005
  • Census.gov1856....Sabbath school….held in an old log school house, Rev. Webb officiating” Platted in 1870Larger schoolhouse in 1874 at a cost of $3,300Consolidated with Bennet in 1969. Palmyra-Bennet High SchoolRemodeled facilities in 1982.(Virtual Nebraska_Our Towns, 2005)
  • Census.govPlatted in 1887School established as soon as there were sufficient familiesReduced to K-6 for many yearsDissolved in May, 1993(Virtual Nebraska_Our Towns, 2005
  • 2012 State Report, District OR1 Public Schools, accessed at http://www.districtor1.org/vnews/display.v/ART/3f6b25519559eOR 1 =otoe restructuredOtoe restructured
  • (national center for education statistics, as cited in Duncombe and Yinger, 2010, School district consolidation the benefits and costs. the school administrator, 5(67) 10-17)
  • Berry, 2006
  • Cogswell (2009). Impacts of Nebraska legislative policies on selected small Nebraska school districts. A dissertation for Seton Hall University.
  • NE = 70% urban population, so policies driving consolidation represent the intersts and values of the majority urban population in Omaha and Lincoln (p. 4) Blauwkamp, J., Longo, P., Anderson, J. (2011). School consolidatio in nebrask: Economic efficiency vs. rural commnity life. The Online Journal of rural Research and Policy. 6, 1, 1-12. (2011)
  • Cogswell (2009). Impacts of Nebraska legislative policies on selected small Nebraska school districts. A dissertation for Seton Hall University.
  • Duncombe and yingercShare courses (more variety and specialization)Share facilitiesCapital improvement expenditures and basic maintenance costs reduced w/ less buildingsIncreasing class size with fewer teachers saves moneyLower administrative expensesAdditional funding for sports and extra-curriculars
  • Cogswell (2009). Impacts of Nebraska legislative policies on selected small Nebraska school districts. A dissertation for Seton Hall University.
  • District instability actually can come from:Poor construction and operationIncompetent personnel who perpetuate incompetenceWider community is instable and reflects itself in the performance of the schoolDemands of state agencies produce performance obstacles for the districtThis particular article is concerned with the community issues
  • Social identity in larger communities is established in an individual’s private sphere of operation
  • 15 miles SE of LincolnConsolidated district serving Palmyra, Bennet, and DouglasNearbysyracuse-dunbar-avoca serves over 600 students
  • 2012 State Report, District OR1 Public Schools, accessed at http://www.districtor1.org/vnews/display.v/ART/3f6b25519559eOR 1 =otoe restructuredOtoe restructured
  • To promote inclusiveness, the school needs to be a magnet that draws all people together on a fairly regular basis
  • Bedroom communityAlso means that there is competition
  • 15 miles SE of LincolnConsolidated district serving Palmyra, Bennet, and DouglasNearbysyracuse-dunbar-avoca serves over 600 students
  • Rolle, R.A., Harris, P., and Burrello, L.C., A heuristic examination of education finance policy, special needs revenue components, and flexible expenditure possibilities. 90-106. in Unifying Educational systems: Leadership and Policy Perspectives (burrello, L.C., Sailor, W., and Kleinhammer-Tramill, J. - Routledge, 2012 – accessed via google eBook preview
  • Or1 ppt final

    1. 1. District OR-1: Consolidation and Organizational Stability
    2. 2. Overview • Community/District context • Consolidation movement • Organizational Stability Theory • District OR-1case • Future considerations
    3. 3. Palmyra Bennet Douglas District OR-1 Public Schools 128.7 square miles
    4. 4. Bennet, Nebraska • Population of 730 (2011) • Community growth trend (29%) • Comparatively high rate of construction • 62,039 annual income • 3.2% poverty
    5. 5. Palmyra, Nebraska • Population of 548 (2011) • Flat Growth: • “Last week was the first sale I’ve seen since I’ve been here” (Rob Hanger, Superintendent since 2008) • 46,667 annual income • 6.8% poverty
    6. 6. Douglas, Nebraska • Population of 173 (2011) • Decline (15% loss) • $38,500 annual income • 3.2 % poverty
    7. 7. Palmyra Bennet Douglas District OR-1 Public Schools County Line
    8. 8. Palmyra Bennet Douglas District OR-1 Public Schools County Line
    9. 9. Phenomenon of School District Consolidation • 1939-1940 – 117,108 districts • 2006-2007 – 13,862 districts • Decline of 88 percent Duncombe and Yinger, 2010
    10. 10. And in Nebraska…. • 1,044 school districts in 1984 • 257 school districts in 2005 Crogswell, 2009, p. 20
    11. 11. State Policies and Consolidation • Nebraska funding rewards consolidation • Open enrollment exerts a negative impact on rural schools (Bassett, 2003) • Funding policies are formulated to benefit larger districts with higher population concentrations • Limited political power limits rural citizens o Bassett, 2003 – claims rural consolidation is “imposed by the 10 percent urban majority who are ignorant to the rural ways (in Blauwkamp, p. 4)”
    12. 12. Brief Overview of Nebraska Policy Related to Consolidation
    13. 13. LB 806: Cost Grouping • Funding group influenced by “county population density” or proximity to next 9-12 school • District w/ 200 students received approximately $400,000 a year while another district with 250 students received $800,000 based on its physical proximately to another school district. • Elimination of cost grouping by school size meant that one district was getting $572,000 in state aid the year prior to LB 806,… this year received only $5,200 in state aid b/c system distribution of population took precedence . (p. 90)
    14. 14. Argument FOR Consolidation: District Economic Efficiency o Lower administrative costs o Shared & fewer facilities, reduced maintenance costs o More specialized teachers, more variety in courses o More staff = more peers for advice and dialogue o Additional funding for sports and extra-curriculars
    15. 15. Argument AGAINST Consolidation: Rural Community Instability • Social capital o Community identity & Cultural centers • Fiscal capacity o Often a primary source of jobs o When payroll is gone, employees go elsewhere, and so does their spending • Population growth o Losing a school makes it harder to attract young families • Housing values
    16. 16. Principles of Community and School District Stability • Principle of centripetalism • Principle of inclusiveness • Principle of distinctiveness • Stability allows organizations to adapt to changes and demands and is vital for survival (Thompson, 1967, cited in Bryant & Grady,1990)
    17. 17. Principle of centripetalism o Tendency of various social and economic forces to centralize. Residents buy, sell, and trade in town. o Anti-forces = anything that pulls away from this central tendency Principle of inclusiveness o “togetherness”, belonging, part of something Principle of distinctiveness o Residents of one town are distinct from the next town (NE Lincoln, SE Lincoln) o When the ability to distinguish is lost, community instability results
    18. 18. “School consolidation makes schooling a more cost-effective enterprise, but it does so by rupturing the connection between the school and its place in the local community. That loss harms both the students and the broader community.” (Blauwkamp, Longo, Anderson, 2011, p. 3)
    19. 19. What does organizational stability theory tell us about….. • District OR-1? • Each community in the service area?
    20. 20. Palmyra Bennet Douglas District OR-1 Public Schools • Palmyra-Bennet merger, 1965 • Douglas dissolution in 1985
    21. 21. Centripetalism • District population center has shifted from Palmyra to Bennet. • “In other districts where I‟ve worked, the school was the social and entertainment hub of the community. It‟s not like that here.” • “And we‟re not the only show in town….” • Loss of annexed land to Lincoln
    22. 22. Inclusiveness and Distinctiveness • Multiple very strong communities, all of which USED to have their own schools and now use “somebody else‟s school” • “(When I came), you didn‟t call it „Palmyra-Bennet elementary,‟ you called it “Bennet Elementary and Palmyra Jr./Sr. High. • Should the smaller community assume the identity of the school district into which it is merged?
    23. 23. Inclusiveness and Distinctiveness • Each community has its own sports teams, and this only increases the competition among the communities rather than pulling them together. • District OR-1 athletic program is historically weak. • Bussing was an issue due to feeling excluded. Each community wanted its share of transportation –”if the Palmyra students don‟t have to travel to get to practice, then we should have our transportation covered as well.”
    24. 24. Inclusiveness and Distinctiveness • “Douglas is a patchwork quilt.” • When a new family comes in, the first thing that I ask is “What‟s your address”?
    25. 25. How to deal with growth in this situation? • District OR-1 is uniquely situated in a geographic location that is enjoying significant growth. • Kindergarten classes are, for the first time, packed. o 2 subsequent years of classes that are 75% larger. o Schools are land-packed, all classes are being used. • 2006 proactive, land acquisition move.
    26. 26. Palmyra Bennet Douglas District OR-1 Public Schools
    27. 27. Resources Berry, C. (2006/2007) School consolidationa nd Inequality, brookings papers on Education Policy, 9, 49-75. Blauwkamp, J., Longo, P., Anderson, J. (2011). School consolidatio in nebrask: Economic efficiency vs. rural commnity life. The Online Journal of rural Research and Policy. 6, 1, 1-12. (2011) Bryant, M.T. and Grady, M.L. (1990). Community factors threatening rural school district stability. Research in Rural Education, 6 (3), 21-26. Cogswell (2009). Impacts of Nebraska legislative policies on selected small Nebraska school districts. A dissertation for Seton Hall University. Cubberly, eP, a brief history of education (boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1922. District OR 1 Public Schools State Report, 2011, accessed at http://www.districtor1.org/vnews/display.v/ART/3f6b25519559e Duncombe and Yinger, 2010, School district consolidation the benefits and costs. the school administrator, 5(67) 10-17) Fiscal Note: Legislative Fiscal Analyst Estimate, Revision 01, prepared by Inbody, R., on April 29, 2013, accessed at http://nebraskalegislature.gov/FloorDocs/Current/PDF/FN/LB407_20130430-131613.pdf Hudson, C.C., 1986, Exonomic-based, tri-level funding for Nebraska‟s public schools, Journal of Education Finance, 12, 1, 1-8. NCSA, 1985-1987 legislative Overview, http://schoolfinance.ncsa.org/1985-1987-review Rolle, R.A., Harris, P., and Burrello, L.C., A heuristic examination of education finance policy, special needs revenue components, and flexible expenditure possibilities. 90-106. in Unifying Educational systems: Leadership and Policy Perspectives (burrello, L.C., Sailor, W., and Kleinhammer-Tramill, J. - Routledge, 2012 – accessed via google eBook preview Sorensen, R. (2011). 2011 Annual Report. Nebraska Department of Revenue Property Assessment Division. Accessed at www.revenue.ne.gov. US Census Bureau. Statistical Snapsnots. Accessed at Census.gov
    28. 28. Notable items • Some have argued that the school equalization formulas are taxpayer equalization rather than school equality. • How well are schools converting tax dollars into graduated, productive individuals? • Efficiency must take into account how inputs were converted into valued outputs. • (smith and street, 2006, as cited in cogsworth, 97) • Rural development policy should have an impact on state educational policy

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