Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version



Great Plains Research 23 (Fall 2013):171-183


© 2013 Copyright by the Center for Great Plains Studies. University of Nebraska-Lincoln


We describe a rural/micropolitan example of the intertwining of school consolidation and demographic change with exacerbated segregation and inequality. To do this we consider Dawson County, Nebraska, which hosts the state's most Latino/a school district (Lexington) and which saw its number of schools decline from 37 to 19 during this century's first decade, and the number of local school districts lessened from 18 to 5. In particular, we call attention to the irony that consolidation was pursued with an explicit call for more equality in schooling in Dawson County (Swidler 2013) and yet population concentrations and variation in expenditures seemed to have moved away from rather than toward that goal. This article also highlights the application of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology to the review and presentation of educational research.