EDGAR CO. (ECWd) –
Possible School District Consolidation
Following several inquiries into possible school consolidations, I had a meeting with the District 4 and District 95 Superintendents along with some email exchanges that included the PCHS Director, to discuss their planning of possible consolidation of the school districts.
For the record, I am, and always have been, in favor of consolidation of these two school districts.
I asked several questions and received basically the same answer from both districts. These will be presented in a Q&A format.
Q: What is the proposed time-frame for this consolidation?
A: If planning continues at its current pace, the referendum will be on the March 18, 2014 Ballot. It requires a ballot vote, with both districts approving it by a majority in each district.
Q: What happens to the School Boards?
A: Should the referendum pass, a new board will have to be elected out of the new consolidated district.
Q: Will the new board be elected “at large” or from 7 board districts?
A: The Committee of Ten would be responsible for that decision and it will be part of the ballot question.
Q: What will be the name of the new district?
A: The State will determine the district number and the new school board will have some input on the new name.
Q: What will happen to the teachers?
A: The new school board will determine how many teachers they will need, then selections bases on School Code (Seniority and/or Performance Evaluation law). Teachers Aides will be based on seniority.
Q: What will happen to all of the support staff, supervisors, and cleaning contracts?
A: This will all be determined by the new board. All current contracts will stay in force until their expiration/buy-out
Q: What about the bussing situation?
A: New board will determine the best course of action.
Q: Which Teachers Union will be the contracting union?
A: Both current unions will dissolve and a new union formed. They will then negotiate a contract with the new board.
Q: Will there be a search for a new superintendent?
A: New board will decide.
Q: How will this affect the new high school?
A: The cooperative high school and the new high school building will be part of the proposed new district.
Q: What will consolidation do to property tax rates compared to what each districts property owners are paying now?
A: The tax rate will be determined by the “Committee of Ten” and will be part of the referendum question on the ballot.
Q: Will outstanding bonds still be the responsibility of the current district taxpayers?
A: Yes, unless other agreements are put into place before consolidation.
Q: Have the surrounding school districts been approached and ask recently about possible consolidation with the Paris districts?
A: Yes, informally, but no interest was shown.
Q: What is the status of the road in front of the new high school?
A: ParisTownship and the City of Paris are the current owners of different parts of that road and both are seeking grants to improve it.
The proposed decision making time-line is below:
Illinois State Board of Education information pamphlet provided by Dave Meister: