Upon further review, the Stet R-XV school district has decided not to move forward with plans to become a charter school. Instead, officials approved a measure Tuesday night that could move the district toward a consolidation. The harsh reality that the charter model would not be a feasible option was heavily debated and officials found themselves tasked with making a difficult decision. Click to hear KMZU’s Chelsea Wade talk with Superintendent John Wiggans:
Board member Glen Waters proposed selecting a committee to investigate the neighboring school districts and outline plans for consolidation. “These kinds of long-term decisions effect generations and decades of students and families. Before we make a decision of where we send our kids, we need to know what is below the surface. We have a lot of things to work through,” Waters said. However, two of the seven board members voted against the idea of forming such group. Board member Russ Couch was opposed to the idea, but was nevertheless selected to serve on the committee. Couch will join Wiggans, Waters, and one or two members from the community.
Wiggans said the district has to act now. “We’re in a position of strength. We are a district that at the end of the year will be financially stressed, but we have taken appropriate measures to reduce the deficit. We are living well within our budget. The problem is that we needed to do this well before hand.”
Couch echoed that sentiment. “We’ve exhausted all options and we need to move quickly. Timing could be our demise. Time is an element we have to balance.” If Stet does not make a decision within the next couple of months and becomes financially insolvent, the state could dissolve the district.
The power is ultimately in the hands of the voters within the Stet school district and they could be forced to make a decision in April. The committee selected Tuesday night will bring their findings to the board in about two weeks.