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Abstract

Since 1958, the New York State Education Department has officially promoted the policy of consolidating small, rural schools. This policy is delineated in the Master Plan for School Reorganization, and while the centralization of most one-room rural schools has been successful, the state has been less successful in the consolidation of smaller, centralized rural school districts. This paper examines some of the efforts made by those smaller, centralized rural schools to overcome the outside pressures that have emerged within the process of state-backed consolidation. Based on findings in literature explored and data collected concerning consolidation, it is clear that New York State’s policy of supporting consolidations has not proven effective. Schools that are allowed creative freedom are examples for rural schools across the nation.

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