INA — —
Regional Superintendent of Schools for Jefferson/Hamilton counties, Ron Daniels, has approved the petition for the Ina and Dodds grade school district to consolidate.
Following public hearings in both school districts and hearing testimony from the public and the Committee of Ten, Daniels said Thursday he is forwarding his recommendation to State Education Superintendent Christopher Koch.
“I had to wait for the transcript to come in before making a decision. It is going to the state superintendent today (Thursday) with my approval,” Daniels said.
Daniels has until June 30 to submit consolidation proposals to the Illinois State Board of Education, and specifically to Koch, in order to get the referendum questions on the November general election ballot. Koch then has 21 days after receipt of Daniels' approval to either accept or reject the proposals.
“They usually don't take that long,” Daniels said.
In approving the Dodds/Ina petition, Daniels said the decision was not difficult.
“They were ready and it (the decision) was based on enrollment and the financial condition of the districts,” he said.
The state has promised incentive money for districts that consider consolidation as an option.
Two more public hearings are scheduled in Jefferson County this month for consolidation consideration.
Bluford school officials hope to get a referendum on this November's ballot seeking approval for a consolidation of Bluford Grade School, Farrington Grade School and Webber Township High School.
“This is (a) hybrid or optional elementary school district option,” Daniels said.
Voters in the high school district and at least one of the grade school districts would have to approve the consolidation for it to go into effect. If the referendum fails in one of the grade school districts, that district would be left as it is now and the other two districts would consolidate.
A public hearing on the Bluford/Farrington/Webber consolidation issue will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Webber Township High School.
A third petition to consolidate the Woodlawn grade and high school districts will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, June 16, at Woodlawn High School.
“All of those petitions are under the same time line,” Daniels said. “I have to have my recommendation into the state office by June 30.”