Date of Award
Doctor of Education
Dr. Lawrence Schlack
Dr. Charles Warfield
Dr. John Nangle
School districts should be organized in an efficient manner while also being equitable to all. Reorganization of school districts could help meet these criteria. At present Michigan has 529 school districts varying in size from 75 to 200,000 students. Due to the large variation in number of students in districts, it is very difficult to achieve equity. During the period 1940 to 1964, progress toward equity occurred when school district reorganizations dropped the number of districts from 6,239 to 545. But since that time few reorganizations have taken place; consequently, Michigan residents continue to bear a high cost in efficiency and effectiveness.
The purpose of this study is to reorganize Michigan school districts into a reasonable and organized model. Reorganizing school districts would make districts more efficient due to reductions in administrative staff, better utilization of buildings and staff, increased savings by purchasing in bulk and combined transportation.
The method used for the study was to gather data about school district buildings, school district population, and school district administrative makeup. This data was gathered from publications produced by and for the Michigan State Department of Education. This data was used to produce the proposed county school district model. It was also used to produce a five-year projected county school district model.
This study found that school districts in the State of Michigan could be reduced. to 83 from the present 529. This model also reduces the number of administrators across the state by 1,549. It also reduces the number of buildings needed across the state by 484.
Recommendations for further study include studies conducted on four individual counties in the state. This study would be done on location and with local personnel. It would include a mock reorganization of existing school districts into a county system and would precede the actual statewide enactment of county systems. Another recommendation is to study how effective school districts are when their population exceeds 80,000. A final recommendation is to study possible incentives that could be provided by the legislature to encourage school district reorganization.
Johanns, William M., "An Alternative Model for School District Organization in Michigan" (1989). Dissertations. 2112.