Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Fall 2013


Great Plains Research 23.2 (Fall 2013), pp. 99-105.


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


The linkages between schools and community are seldom discussed in the research on school consolidation. Most of the focus of this body of literature is on the effects of school consolidation on efficiency and equity. In this essay I discuss the importance of school-community relationships and the critical role schools can play in community development. School consolidation can have several negative impacts on the local economy, social capital, and community identity. Assessments of the benefits and costs of consolidation need to consider more carefully the impacts on communities and the potential of building a stronger relationship between schools and communities.