Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)


Professional Studies in Education

First Advisor

George R. Bieger, Ph. D.

Second Advisor

Cathy Crop Kaufman, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Joseph Marcoline, D.Ed.


The need for superintendents to respond correctly to the myriad of legally charged situations is vital to the success of a school district. In small rural school districts, without the benefit of extensive financial resources or large administrative bureaucracies, many of the day-to-day legal challenges are handled solely by the superintendent of schools. The study presents the perception and knowledge of at least fourteen public school superintendents, their views of the numerous legal challenges encountered and the impact of litigation on the school district, and what should be the legal training for superintendents in small rural school districts.