Structural development of public school study councils in Indiana

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Shotts, John R., 1944-
Snyder, Jack F.
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Thesis (D. Ed.)
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The purpose of the study was to examine the existing similarities and differences in the organizational and operational structure among the eight school study councils currently in operation in the state of Indiana. The operational structure for the eight school study councils was described by means of personal interviews and a search of existing study council files.The first School Study Council in Indiana was founded in 1961; the most recent became operational in 1977. Presently, eight councils are operational in Indiana. Six study councils are headquartered at Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana; the remaining two are headquartered at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.The School Study Councils in Indiana claimed a combined membership of 135 public school corporations and represented slightly over 44.5 percent of all the public school corporations in the state. The smallest study council consisted of 10 school corporations whereas the largest study council was composed of 27 school corporations. Decisions made in a School Study Council setting in Indiana potentially affect over 549,000 students and more than 23,700 teachers.Membership in a School Study Council in Indiana was determined by one of three factors: (l)-geographical proximity of member schools; (2) student enrollment of the applying school corporation; or (3) a combination thereof.Yearly operational needs of school study councils were largely subsidized by the school corporations annual dues. Annual school corporation membership dues for Indiana councilsvaried from $200.00 to $500.00 a year. The most popular means for determining membership assessment was the flat assessment fee.Each School Study Council in Indiana functioned according to an established constitution and a formal set of by-laws. The major components contained in each constitution were: (1) Name; (2) Purpose; (3) Membership; (4) Officers and Executive Committee; (5) Nominations, Elections, and Appointments; (6) Finances; (7) Amendments and/or Revisions; and (8) Effective Date.The constitutions were more uniform than the by-laws; however, the majority of the study councils accepted the following articles: (1) Duties of Officers; (2) Terms of Office; (3) Vacancies in Office; (4) Executive Committee; (5) General Meetings; (6) Quorum; (7) Committees; (8) Publications; (9) Rules of Order; and (10) Amendments and Revisions.Ball State University and Indiana University agreed to support school study councils by providing, without cost to the councils, the following services: (1) an Executive Secretary;(2) required stenographic services; (3) one part-time graduate assistant or doctoral fellow; and (4) office facilities.The responsibilities of the Executive Secretary was a major difference between Ball State University and Indiana University. A professor serving as Executive Secretary at Ball State University received a one-third reduction from the normal teaching responsibility. No such reduction was agreed upon at Indiana University.At both universities, a graduate assistant or doctoral fellow was assigned to work with the Executive Secretary. The graduate assistant or doctoral fellow served in the following capacity: (1) assisting the Executive Secretary in planning and implementing school study council programs; (2) conducting necessary research as requested by the study council membership; (3) correspondence on behalf of the study council; and (4) the preparation of reports and minutes of the council business meetings. The stipend received by the doctoral fellow or graduate assistant was approximately $3,000 for an academic year.Conclusions drawn from the study are:1. The basic purpose for the establishment of School Study Councils in Indiana was the improvement of education in member school systems by providing an opportunity to: (1) share and pool vital information; (2) discuss approaches to sound educational management; (3) participate in professional growth through in-service workshops.2. The support and affiliation offered to the School Study Councils by the universities were judged to be the most crucial consideration affecting the overall development of the councils.Recommendations for further research are:1. Consideration should be given to evaluating and researching the variables of success in school study councils as viewed by: school administrators; teachers; and students.2. Research should be conducted to investigate the impact school study councils have upon educational programs and curriculum of member school corporations.