Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




James H. Stronge


The purposes of this study were: (1) to determine the factors that influence the decisions of local school boards concerning redistricting, and (2) to determine if the factors influencing redistricting decisions-are more instructional or non- instructional in nature. The study employed a case study methodology, examining a specific school board involved in a redistricting process that occurred in 1996.;Data for the study were collected utilizing the following: interviews with school board members; interviews with staff members; interviews with members of the media who covered the redistricting process; interviews with community members; newspaper articles; school board meeting minutes and other internal documents about the redistricting process; and correspondence from the public to the school board about the redistricting process.;The study's conclusions were as follows: (1) The superintendent and the recommendations he made were a very strong influence. (2) Interest groups had an influence on the board, but not an overwhelming one. (3) Individual values influenced the board's decisions as members weighed the various alternatives. (4) Cultural/normative factors influenced the board's decision, especially in terms of the process to reach a decision. (5) The high level of emotion present during the process and the lack of viable alternatives influenced the board's decision. (6) The board was influenced by several concrete measurable criteria, including: building capacity/projected growth; cost effectiveness; feeder patterns; minimizing numbers redistricted; neighborhood schools/proximity of schools; socioeconomic/ethnic diversity; and travel distance and time. These factors served as a buffer against the high level of emotion in the process. (7) Non-instructional factors were the strongest influences on the board; however, instructional factors also played an important role.;Major implications of these conclusions included the need for accurate information on measurable instructional and non-instructional criteria; the need for establishing community and board consensus on priority redistricting criteria; the need for adequate time for decision making; the need for alternative means of gathering public input; and, the importance of process.



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