Education professor discusses consolidation

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SPRINGFIELD- As school districts around Illinois continue to consider consolidating with neighboring districts, University of Illinois professor William Phillips has found continuing demand for his expertise on school restructuring.

Phillips, a former school superintendent, has worked as a consultant to dozens of school districts involved in 57 consolidation efforts through the years. He acknowledges those efforts can involve heavy emotions.

“It’s a gut-wrenching decision; parents and students take it very seriously, not knowing what’s coming,” Phillips said. “Communities feel that this is a huge loss to their community, because the schools tend to be the recreational center … People who have kids know that a comprehensive school is important, and if they can get a comprehensive school provided, even if it isn’t in their particular community, then they are enhanced and enriched.

For an in-depth discussion of school restructuring and consolidation, view our full interview with Professor Phillips below:

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