Advantages to consolidating school districts
Superintendent Frerking said in his 26 years with Freeburg High School, he has repeatedly heard the question: “Why are there so many different districts? So there’s no real driving force to make us want to consolidate right now.” “It’d be different, I think, if we were scraping to get by, if our enrollment was in the 40s and everything we did was a challenge. “And (board members) didn’t want to go through with paying all this money and getting involved in this study just for the heck of it.” State finances contributed to some districts’ interest in conducting studies now, including Freeburg District 77 and Venice District 3.
” “The reason is that’s how it was set up 80, 90 years ago, and it just hasn’t changed,” he said. We’ve never looked at it in the detail that they’ll look at it in the feasibility study.” Freeburg District 77, Freeburg District 70 and Smithton District 130 are sharing the cost of an estimated ,000 study by consultants Nick Osborne and Rosborg. Libory District 30 School Board decided not to participate in the study because it has “no intention” of consolidating. “Twenty years ago, all the districts were in a lot healthier shape financially,” Frerking said.
The district is using temporary classroom and office space for fifth-graders, the school psychologist and social worker in a trailer with no running water.
So far, city and village officials have agreed to contribute ,500.
Hopkins said the study could cost as much as ,000.
In the agreement for the Freeburg-area study that’s underway, consultants said they would offer an opinion about whether the districts should reorganize.
“It’s not that there’s some disagreement or some animosity. “We’re just like every other district in the state; we are pinching every penny that we can and trying to make cuts here and cuts there to survive without losing out on any of our services.” Superintendent Warletta Brookins said Madison Unit 12 wants to know whether students in Madison and nearby communities would benefit from sharing the courses and extra-curriculars they offer.
Madison, for example, recently brought back football and band programs.
The district came up with a temporary solution to its space problem caused by growing enrollment back in 2012.