Consolidating school distircts

“The chamber is not for or against school consolidation,” he said.

“That’s really why we’ve taken on this endeavor.” Hopkins explained that if the districts paid for a study that showed it would be beneficial to consolidate, the perception could be that the districts were promoting consolidation.

If the answer is yes, they would suggest the best way to do it.

Even if merging isn’t right for them, the consultants might find other ways the districts could share services to help students or save money.

On the other hand, if it showed that there were few advantages to consolidation, the perception could be that they were trying to prevent it, he said.

“We’re trying to promote an unbiased approach,” Hopkins said.

Board members could decide that reorganizing their district isn’t beneficial for them right now, so a proposal never reaches voters.

It started leasing the trailer to house three fifth-grade classrooms and a shared office for a school social worker and psychologist. Rosborg, one of the consultants, is a parent of three Freeburg school graduates.The Smithton District 130 School Board is interested in the benefits or drawbacks of reorganization as it considers ways to address space issues in its only building.Enrollment has grown to the point that Smithton Elementary School can’t hold the students it currently has.Then, it would go to the voters, who make the final decision.“The bottom line with consolidation: it has to be something that the school community itself wants,” said Rosborg, the consultant. Once it goes onto the ballot, then if one (district) votes against it, they don’t have to be part of that consolidated district, but the others can be.” It would be a similar process for districts to pursue annexation.

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During studies, consultants look through documents that cover aspects of the schools — from students to finances — from the last five years to make predictions about what the future could look like for the districts.

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