Department of Educational Administration


Date of this Version

Spring 4-8-2015

Document Type



A Dissertation Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Education, Major: Educational Administration, Under the Supervision of Professor Jody Isernhagen. Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2015

Copyright (c) 2015 Cory Dean Worrell


The purpose of this study was to examine the history of reorganization in public schools in Nebraska over the past 30 years and how we can use this history to make predictions for the future of reorganization in public schools in Nebraska. The researcher used a mixed method approach. For the quantitative research 199 Nebraska superintendents were surveyed to determine the reasons for their school districts reorganization over the past 30 years. For the qualitative research, eight individuals were interviewed to gauge their perceptions of public school reorganization in Nebraska. These eight individuals were experts in public school education in Nebraska.

The survey results showed that reorganization impacted school enrollment and school finances did not seem to be a major factor as to why districts reorganized. Additionally, results showed the legislature does not really have an impact on reorganization as well.

There was a minimal effect from reorganization upon improving student opportunities, however, it did not take away opportunities from students. Reorganization has a positive effect on staffing as districts usually gain teachers and they do not normally lose their jobs. For the most part, reorganization was positive for the community.

Based on the interview results Nebraska will continue to see a de-population of rural areas, which may negatively impact enrollment in schools. There will continue to be less need for more workers in agriculture, which will impact enrollment in rural areas. Rural communities and school districts prefer local control and that the legislature not be involved in reorganization in the future. However, there may be a need for a reorganization study to be conducted so the legislature better understands the needs of school districts rather than basing decisions on emotion.

Advisor: Jody Isernhagen