Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


The purpose of this study was to propose a plan for the unification of school districts in Ellsworth County Kansas to equalize the burden of school support and educational benefits and to provide more efficient school districts which make possible effective and economical use of school funds in terms of good educational programs for all school youngsters in the county. Growing recognition of the magnitude of problems which are connected with the present school district structure in Ellsworth County emphasizes the justification of this study. A study was made of Ellsworth county school districts from 1880 to the present time. Facts and figures were compiled on present district structure, present enrollment and enrollment trends, assessed valuation of various districts, operational costs per pupil and the financial condition of the districts in the county. The effect of State legislative action on school district organization over the past number of years, both permissive and mandatory, is shown in the study. Present elementary and secondary course offerings in the county and preparation of teachers in the various schools are shown. Examination of the facts presented in the study show there is little uniformity or equality among the school districts in Ellsworth County. Permissive procedures for school district unification has not been effective in the past and the present structure of school districts do not provide the scope and quality of education necessary to meet present day needs. This study helps to identify many inequalities in the present school district structure. Wide variation in types of school district organization, elementary districts overlaid with a separately organized high school district, variation in per pupil assessed valuation, differences in operational costs per pupil, unfair distribution of the tax burden, and unequal educational opportunities from district to district in the county are evident from the study. From the study it is apparent that Ellsworth County has for many years supported ineffective school districts which do not provide the best education for the tax dollar expended and establishes a need for a single administrative unit eliminating needless duplication in fiscal affairs with substantial educational improvements made at all levels of instruction. The study recommends one unified school district maintaining a full twelve grade program under one chief school administrator and one board of education for Ellsworth County. No attempt was made to estimate educational programs possible or to indicate financial obligation this new district might incur other than to show equalization of the tax burden throughout the county. By merging all presently existing districts in the county into a single district the wealth of the county could be distributed more evenly over the county and make it possible to offer a better educational program to all youngsters.


W. Clement Wood

Date of Award

Summer 1964

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 1964 Opal Weinhold


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