Research


New York State Education Dept. Bureau of School District Organization Files of Master Plan Studies

Held by the New York State Archives


Overview of the Records

Repository:

New York State Archives

New York State Education Department

Cultural Education Center

Albany, NY 12230

Summary:
In 1958, the Commissioner’s Advisory Committee on the Master Plan for School District Reorganization issued a revision of the 1947 Master Plan. These study files contain minutes of Advisory Committee meetings, proposed changes in the Master Plan, notes and memoranda concerning public hearings held about the Master Plan, correspondence with local school officials and citizens about revised reorganization proposals and county maps.
Creator:
Title:
Quantity:
4.0 cubic feet of textual records
Inclusive Dates:
1941-1959
Bulk Dates:
1955-1959
Series Number:
11120
Sponsor:
This series' description was enhanced as part of the States' Impact on Federal Education Policy Project (SIFEPP), in April 2010. The New York Community Trust - Wallace Special Projects Fund provided funding for this project.

Arrangement

Arranged in three subseries: 1. Memoranda, 2. Subject files, 3. Files on counties.

Administrative History

The Master Plan for School District Reorganization was created to guide the process of centralizing rural school districts. The consolidation of small rural school districts into larger central school districts was first enacted into law in Chapter 55 of the Laws of 1914, which provided for the formation of "Central Rural Schools." In 1925, the Cole-Rice Law (Chapter 673 of the Laws of 1925) was enacted, which provided state financial aid for transportation and school construction in order to encourage rural school districts to consolidate. The pace of centralization increased in the 1930's, but the process of centralization was criticized as piecemeal by the Regents' Inquiry into the Character and Cost of Public Education in 1938. The Inquiry recommended that all new central school districts have at least 600 students in daily attendance, and at least 1,200 students when possible. In response, the Bureau of Rural Administrative Services was created in 1943 to facilitate the process of school district centralization, and a master plan for school consolidation was created by the Joint Legislative Committee on the State Education System in 1947. The Bureau of Rural Administrative Services was renamed the Bureau of School District Organization in 1964. By 1959, the number of school districts in New York State had fallen to under 2,000, down from around 10,000 in 1925. Overall, the movement toward centralized school districts was reflective of a national trend towards greater involvement by state governments and state education agencies in the administration and funding of public schools.

In the mid 1950s, Commissioner James E. Allen appointed staff members to an Advisory Council for School District Reorganization, with the intention of studying the state of school district centralization, and proposing revisions to the Master Plan for School District Reorganization. Some of their recommendations were incorporated by the Joint Legislative Committee on the State Education System into a revised version of the master plan in 1958.

Scope and Content Note

This series consists of the files of the Advisory Council on School District Reorganization, a group appointed by the Commissioner to study and revise the "Master Plan for School District Reorganization." The beginning of the series consists of reports on studies initiated by NYSED by request of the advisory council. The first study details the number of central, union free, and common school districts in each county in New York. The remaining studies mostly deal with recommendations for the reorganization of groups of school districts, along with criteria to determine the size of an efficient school district, and notes on transportation problems likely to be encountered by reorganizations. The series also consists of subject files documenting the operations of the advisory council. Included are proposed schedules of public hearings to discuss the advisory council's recommended revisions to the Master Plan for School District Reorganization, as well as lists of changes in these recommendations due to feedback from the hearings. Also included are data on then-existing central school districts, including enrollments, maps, debt service, and transportation costs. Finally, the series contains files on information on New York counties used by the advisory council in the preparation of recommendations for changes in the master plan. Included in these files are lists of school districts within counties and maps of counties showing school district boundaries.

Use of Records

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions regarding access to or use of the material.

Related Information

Related Materials

Series B0476 Certification files regarding State aid and reorganization

Series 15672 School district centralization and reorganization files all deal with the school district centralization process governed by the Master Plan for School District Reorganization

Series B0477 Bureau of School District Organization subject and administrative files

Series B1104 New York State Education Dept. Office of Counsel School District Centralization Files

Series B0472, School district centralization and reorganization files

Access Terms

Corporate Name(s):
Geographic Name(s):
Subject(s):
Genre(s):
Function(s):

Detailed Description

Subseries 1: Memoranda

Dates:
1956-1958
Physical Description:
0.75 cubic feet of records

Scope and Content Note:

This subseries consists of reports on studies initiated by NYSED by request of the Advisory Council on School District Reorganization. The first study details the number of central, union free, and common school districts in each county in New York. The remaining studies mostly deal with recommendations for the reorganization of groups of school districts, along with criteria to determine the size of an efficient school district, and notes on transportation problems likely to be encountered by reorganizations. Included are copies of the memoranda, drafts, and agenda of meetings in which memoranda were presented.

Arrangement:

Roughly arranged by memorandum number

  

Dates Contents Box Folder

Accretion: 1983
1956 August Memorandum No. 1 - August 30, 1956 1 1
1956 October Memorandum No. 2 - October 25, 1956 1 2
1956 November-December Memorandum No. 3 - November 29, 1956 1 3
1956 November Supplement to Memorandum No. 3 - November 29, 1956 1 4
1956 November Memorandum No. 3-a - November 29, 1956 1 5
1956 November Memorandum No. 3-a - November 29, 1956 (unfiled) 1 6
1957 January January 10, 1957 - Material Presented at Meeting 1 7
1957 January-February Unfiled Papers - January-February 1957 1 8
1957 February Memorandum No. 4 - Fifth Meeting - February 14, 1957 1 9
1957 February Memorandum No. 4 - Fifth Meeting - February 14, 1957 (unfiled) 1 10
1957 February Supplement to Memorandum No. 4 - Fifth Meeting - February 14, 1957 1 11
1957 March Memorandum No. 5 - March 28, 1957 (unfiled) 1 12
1957 March Memorandum No. 5 - Sixth Meeting - March 28, 1957 1 13
1957 March Supplement to Memorandum No. 5 - Sixth Meeting - March 28, 1957 1 14
1957 July Memorandum No. 6 - Seventh Meeting - July 25, 1957 1 15
1957 July Tentative Material - Report of School District Reorganization 1 16
1957 July Proposed Schedule of Meetings - July 25, 1957 1 17
1957 June Memorandum No. 6 1 18
1957 June Memorandum No. 6 1 19
1957 June-1958 July Memorandum No. 6 1 20
1957 June Memorandum No. 6 1 21
1957 July Supplement to Enlarged City School Districts and Central School Districts - Presented at Seventh Meeting - July 25, 1957 1 22
1957 June Memorandum No. 6 1 23
1957 June Memorandum No. 6 1 24
1957 October-1958 February Material Presented at Meeting - February 6, 1958 1 25
1958 February Changes in Recommendations as a Result of the Fourteen Hearings on the Reorganization Plan Held October 3, 1957 through November 13, 1957 1 26

Subseries 2: Subject files

Dates:
1955-1959
Physical Description:
0.25 cubic feet of textual records

Scope and Content Note:

This subseries consists of files documenting the administration and operations of the Advisory Council on School District Reorganization. Included are proposed schedules of public hearings to discuss the Advisory Council's recommended revisions to the Master Plan for School District Reorganization, as well as lists of changes in these recommendations due to feedback from the hearings. Also included are data on then-existing central school districts, including enrollments, maps, debt service, and transportation costs.

Arrangement:

Arranged roughly alphabetically by subject

  

Dates Contents Box Folder
1959 January-March Correspondence Regarding Revised Master Plan - 1959 5 1
1957 March-June Annexations - to June 30, 1957 5 2
1957 July-1958 December Annexations - Voted July 1, 1957-1959 5 3
1957 October-November Area Hearings - October and November 1957 5 4
1958 April-1959 March Supervisory District Changes 5 5
1957 March Central School Districts 5 6
1955 June Central School District Enrollments 5 7
1956 July-1957 May Central, Union Free and Common School Districts - Number as of May 1, 1957 - By County 5 8
1957 Class Schedules from Secondary School Report - 1956-1957 5 9
1956 July Qualifications for Aid - Union Free and Common School Districts 5 10
1958 December-1959 January School District by County - December 30, 1958 5 11
undated School Districts - Number and Type of School District by County 5 12
1957 October-1958 January School District Reorganization - Advisory Committee - Special Subcommittee - Notes 5 13
1955 August-1956 December Maps - New York State, and Correspondence - with Department of Public Works 5 14
1955 August-1956 December Maps - New York State, and Correspondence - with Department of Public Works 5 15
1958 February School District Reorganization - A Brief Summary for Presentation to the Board of Regents 5 16
1956 School District Reorganization - "Net Debt Services 1955-1956 - Central Schools Recommended for Combination" 5 17
1956 December-1957 May Transportation Data 5 18
undated Maps - Counties of New York State - Miscellaneous (Extra Copies) 5 19
1957 July-1959 January Master Plan - Rewriting Directives, etc 5 20
1956 February-1957 November Office Records - School District Reorganization Study - Legislation Study 1956-1957 - Outline of Plan - Steps in Development of Revised Master Plan 5 21

Subseries 3: Files on counties

Dates:
1941-1959, 1955-1959
Physical Description:
2.5 cubic feet of textual records

Scope and Content Note:

This subseries consists of information on New York counties used by the Advisory Council on School District Reorganization in the preparation of recommendations for changes in the Master Plan for School District Reorganization. Included are lists of school districts within counties, maps of counties showing school district boundaries, correspondence from citizens and school district officials, and recommendations for revisions of plans.

Arrangement:

Roughly alphabetical by county name

  

Dates Contents Box Folder

Accretion: 1983
1956 October-1957 November Albany 2 8
1957 March-May Allegany 2 9
1957 February-1958 March Broome 2 10
1956-1957 October Cattaraugus 2 11
1956 October-1957 October Cayuga 2 12
1956 October-November Chautauqua 2 13
1957 February-November Chemung 2 14
1956 November-1957 September Chenango 2 15
1956 October-1957 October Clinton 2 16
1956 November-1957 October Columbia 2 17
1956 November-1958 January Cortland 2 18
1956 November-1957 November Delaware 2 19
1956 November-1958 January Dutchess 2 20
1956 November-1957 October Erie 2 21
1956 November-1957 October Essex 2 22
1956 November-1957 October Franklin 2 23
1955 October-1957 October Fulton 2 24
1956 October-1957 October Genesee 2 25
1956 November-1958 September Greene 2 26
1956 November-1957 November Hamilton 2 27
1957 February-October Herkimer 2 28
1957 January-November Jefferson 2 29
1957 February-December Lewis 2 29
1956 October-1957 November Livingston 2 30
1956 November-1957 November Madison 3 1
1956 October-1959 March Monroe 3 2
1957 February-October Montgomery 3 3
1956 February-1958 January Nassau 3 4
1956 September-1957 October Niagara 3 5
1957 February-August Oneida 3 6
1956 October-1958 March Onondaga 3 7
1956 November-1959 January Ontario 3 8
1956 October-1957 October Orleans 3 9
1956 December-1957 December Oswego 3 10
1956 September-October Otsego 3 11
1957 November-December Putnam 3 12
1956 November-1957 December Rensselaer 3 13
1941 March-1958 January Rockland 3 14
1957 March-November St. Lawrence 3 15
1956 November-1957 November Saratoga 3 16
1956 October-1957 July Schenectady 3 17
1956 October-1957 December Schoharie 3 18
1956 October-1957 October Schuyler 3 19
1956 October-1957 December Seneca 3 20
1956 November-1958 March Steuben 3 21
1956 May-1959 February Suffolk 4 1a
1956 May-1959 February Suffolk 4 1b
1956 May-1959 February Suffolk 4 1c
1956 May-1959 February Suffolk 4 1d
1956 October-1957 June School District Reorganization - List of Schools in a County and Recommended Reorganizations by Counties - Complete Set of Each County in New York State as of March 28, 1957 4 2
1957 October Indices to the Public Schools of New York State 4 3
1958 October Index to the Public Schools of New York State 4 4
1957 March-1958 January Sullivan 4 5
1956 November-1957 November Tioga 4 6
1957 October-1959 March Tompkins 4 7
1956 June-1957 November Ulster 4 8
1956 November-1957 October Warren 4 9
1956 November-1957 October Washington 4 10
1956 November-1957 October Wayne 4 11
1956 June-1958 January Westchester 4 12
1956 November-1957 November Wyoming 4 13
1956 October-1957 November Yates 4 14