Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




James M. Yankovich


The purpose of this study was to examine the merger of the school systems of the City of South Norfolk and Norfolk County in the State of Virginia. The merger of these two geographical entitites was consummated on January 1, 1963. Norfolk County was formed in 1636 by the Virginia General Assembly. The cities of Norfolk, Portsmouth, and South Norfolk were carved from this county. A series of annexations by these cities between 1940 and 1960 cost Norfolk County thirty-three square miles of territory, 110,000 residents, and {dollar}1,881,000 in revenue.;In order to protect its viability, Norfolk County voted to merge with the small City of South Norfolk. The City of Chesapeake was formed. Since schools were a major issue during the pre-merger campaign, this study examined the merger of the two school systems with primary emphasis on the control of power and the distribution of resources for facilities in the newly formed city.;The research data included primary and secondary sources in the areas of documents, newspapers, oral history, quantitative records, historical texts, and relics. A number of major figures in the school system of that period were available for personal interviews.;The hypothesis that resources for facilities were distributed equitably to the former South Norfolk and Norfolk County areas was accepted. Equitable did not mean equal since South Norfolk schools were in much greater physical need at the time of the 1963 merger. Therefore, the new Chesapeake School Board provided a larger share of the 1963 bond revenues and other fiscal resources to the former South Norfolk schools.;The hypothesis that the power in the newly merged Chesapeake School System was unevenly controlled by former Norfolk County leaders and residents was accepted. While it is fair to conclude from a review of School Board minutes, newspapers, periodicals, and interviews that former Norfolk County leaders and residents controlled decisionmaking through the Chesapeake School Board and major central office leadership roles, there was no indication that this power was used unjustly. Research into sources of the period and extensive interviews indicated that the leaders genuinely wanted the best for the new school system.;The issues of power and distribution of resources examined in this dissertation must be considered in any merger of school systems. Research into other school system mergers would advance this study.



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