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School Reorganization Commission collection

Identifier: L591

Scope and Contents

This collection includes the records of the State Commission for the Reorganization of School Corporations from 1956 to 1967 regarding the consolidation of school corporations around the state of Indiana.

The first series includes announcements, data sheets, maps, notes, agendas, and minutes of commission meetings. Hearing schedules, progress reports, maps, studies, lawsuits, legislative materials, and a variety of supplemental material, including rulings of the Indiana Supreme County relative to the Reorganization Act; Attorney General's opinions, advisories, guides, forms, rating sheets, checklists, sample tables, booklets, bulletins, newsletters, and a book.

The second series documents the activities of the county school reorganization committees. They contain preliminary, revised, partial, and comprehensive county school reorganization plans, each of which typically includes a report of the present school situation (before reorganization), the need for reorganization, special conditions (e.g., highways, natural geographical barriers), alternate reorganization plans considered, the selected organization or reorganization plan, data supporting the selected plan, and often the county committee meeting minutes.

Typically, county plans contain curricular outlines, maps of proposed district boundaries, transportation to be provided, statements of assessed evaluation for the school district, statements of all sources of revenue, statements of per pupil expenditures, inventories of facilities, feasibility studies, demographic projects of population, school surveys, class size or teach-pupil ratios, the reports of advisory committees, and personnel considerations (e.g., selection of trustees, teacher training).

Materials accompanying the plans are original and copies of correspondence and reports sent to the state commission by private citizens. Accompanying materials also include legal briefs (e.g., motion to remand and return), reports of hearings, minority reports of the committees, minutes of the state commission within the county, newspaper clippings, and occasional newsletters. The League of Women Voters of Indiana and PTA (Parent Teacher Association) groups were sources of much supportive material.


  • 1955-1967

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Historical Note

The School Consolidation Act of 1959 created the State Commission for the Reorganization of School Corporations. The law's purpose was to improve education by providing more equalized education opportunities for publicly enrolled students in grades 1 through 12 in the school corporations of Indiana. The State Commission for the Reorganization of School Corporations was charged to establish minimum standards to be followed by individual county committees for school reorganization, to conduct statewide hearings, to approve or reject county school reorganization plans developed by the county committees, and to develop county plans in the event that the county committee failed to act. Two standards which were regularly applied were:

1. No proposed school corporation shall have less than 1,000 resident pupils in average daily attendance in grades 1 through 12.

2. No proposed school corporation shall have less than $5,000 adjusted evaluation per resident student.

The state commission, directed by J.B. Kohlmeyer of Purdue University, also gave approval of proposed school construction projects.

The School Consolidation Act of 1959 reduced the number of school corporations in Indiana from 966 to 402 and reduced the number of corporations with less than 1,000 resident pupils in grades 1 through 12 from 801 to 156.


10.3 Cubic Feet (25 manuscript boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged in the following series:

Series 1: Administrative documents, 1956-1967

Series 2: County documents, 1957-1967

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed in 2000 by Philip N. Williams and on 2014/06/01 by Bethany Fiechter. EAD finding aid created 2014/06/10 by Bethany Fiechter.
School Reorganization Commission collection
Under Revision
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.