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School Business Affairs


The viability and acceptability of consolidation— combining two or more school buildings or districts into a single entity—have ebbed and flowed over the years. In the early 1900s, the main targets of school consolidation were the rural schools. The education leaders and policy makers of the time believed that a centralized model in which all schools looked alike would prove to be the best approach for educating youth to be productive citizens (Kay, Hargood, and Russell 1982).

In addition to providing an expanded curriculum, they believed, consolidated schools could be operated more efficiently and economically—an idea that has continued to appeal to policy makers and school business officials.

I surveyed several superintendents and a school district treasurer in southwestern Ohio to get their perceptions about school consolidation. They shared their thoughts about the perceived advantages of consolidation, the disadvantages, and approaches to reduce or mitigate the negative effect of school consolidation. Their perceptions are included here.

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This article originally appeared in the December 2008 School Business Affairs magazine and is reprinted with permission of the Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO). The text herein does not necessarily represent the views or policies of ASBO International, and use of this imprint does not imply any endorsement or recognition by ASBO International and its officers or affiliates.

Permission documentation on file.


Association of School Business Officials International





Place of Publication

Reston, VA



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