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International Journal of Educational Leadership Preparation,






The purpose of the study was to make a qualitative assessment of the impact of school consolidation on several rural Nebraska communities that have recently lost their schools. This research uses a multiple-case study design with interviews conducted in three Nebraska communities. The data from this research fell into four broad themes: social capital changes resulting from consolidation, the effect of the consolidation on the children of the community, the future of the community, and circumstances driving consolidation. Data indicates very differing views about consolidation; respondents with children in school were generally supportive of the consolidation and felt that it benefited their children; the respondents all expressed a concern about the loss of the community although, the majority of the respondents did not have an alternative to the loss and decline of the community; the consolidations in the study were all second or third consolidations and respondents believed the original consolidation were the beginning of the decline of the community.


Published in International Journal of Educational Leadership Preparation, 6(2), April 2011. Used by permission. The original version can be found at