Many rural communities in Nebraska face the harsh reality of school consolidation. It's never an easy choice for those school districts.
But how big of a role does politics play in the decision? It may be larger than you think.
"The primary driver now that we see that causes school districts to come to the table is the fact that they have such a declining enrollment now they need to adjust how they can still provide a better education for their future," said Nebraska Education Commissioner Dr. Roger Breed.
Feeding the decision to consolidate or not is good ole' local politics.
"It's very political because it involves funding schools," said director of the Center for Great Plains Studies Richard Edwards.
And while consolidation remains an extremely emotional event for many, the population shift towards the urban centers is making it more necessary for many rural school districts to survive.