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New Book Explores School Consolidation in Illinois
November 17, 2014

The Illinois Association of School Boards has published a new book that examines the history and process of school district reorganization.

Exploring School District Reorganization in Illinois: Navigating Your Options is the title of the book that is co-authored by William H. Phillips, Scott L. Day and Leonard R. Bogle, three former school administrators who also have extensive experience conducting reorganization feasibility studies.

As the title suggests, this book examines the myriad of issues and considerations that school administrators, school boards, taxpayers, and parents confront when this topic arises in their communities.

The book starts with a history of school consolidation and includes the more recent legislative battles that lawmakers, governors, and other groups have engaged in to influence school district reorganization. Contents include the following chapters:

  • History of public school reorganization in Illinois
  • The 1985-86 consolidation battle
  • The mechanics of school consolidation, including information about the Committee of Ten and factors that influence projected tax rate calculations  
  • Alternatives to reorganization, including conclusions from the 2012 Classrooms First Commission
  • Optimum district size
  • The case for unit districts
  • Student enrollment projections
  • Curriculum considerations and comparisons
  • Analysis of facilities
  • Transportation analysis
  • Incentive payments

Other features include case studies from other states, a look at post-merger conditions in selected reorganizations, a reorganization checklist, glossary of terms, questions for superintendents, and a list of school reorganizations in Illinois over the past 30 years.

It is neither the purpose of this book nor the position of the authors or publisher to encourage additional school district consolidation. Rather, it is their hope that the book will provide a greater understanding of the process, the complexities and history of the issues involved, and will remove some of the myths and barriers to open dialogue on this subject.

Exploring School District Reorganization in Illinois: Navigating Your Options is available from IASB Publications, 2921 Baker Drive, Springfield, IL 62703. Telephone 217/528-9688, extension 1108; fax 217/528-2831. Price is $24 ($22 for IASB members) plus $7 per order for shipping. The book also may be purchased through the Association’s online bookstore at:

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