ERIC Number: ED497051
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Jan
Reference Count: 15
An Evaluation of the Impact of Rural School Consolidation: What Challenges May a New Round of Rural School Consolidations Have on the "Safety, Educational Performance and Social Environment" of rural Communities?
Purcell, Dennis; Shackelford, Rexanna
National Rural Education Association (NJ1)
At present, there is an ongoing re-examination of the practicality of the existence of many small rural community schools. In some states there is a continuing battle over a new round of small school closings, and reconsolidation efforts are underway to once again change or reorganize the educational infrastructure of rural community schools. While this paper addresses some of the considerations necessary to fully evaluate the impact of rural school consolidation, it is not intended to present a definitive solution to the subject. However, the authors hope their new focus on subjects such as student, family, and community safety will support a fresh look at justifications for keeping rural school educational infrastructure intact. This document will also re-address some of the more controversial issues and take another look at a few of the challenges that this new round of school closings may present to not only the safety issue--but also the social, political, economic, and educational support environment in rural communities. Most people would never support the removal of other important primary institutions such as the economic, political, emergency services, religious or media organizations from communities, and the authors feel that the rural school community support function is equally important to the performance of a viable community.
Descriptors: Small Schools, Social Environment, School Closing, Rural Areas, Consolidated Schools, Community Support, Community Schools, Educational Environment, Rural Schools, School Safety, School Role
National Rural Education Association. 820 Van Vleet Oval, Room 227, Norman, OK 73019. Tel: 405-325-7959; Fax: 405-325-7959; Web site: http://www.nrea.net/
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Rural Education Association, Fort Collins, CO.