Mt. Vernon Register-News

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June 11, 2014

Testimony split at Bluford

BLUFORD — Just two people testified at a public hearing at Webber Township High School on Tuesday night on the proposed consolidation of the Webber, Bluford Grade School and Farrington Grade School referendum to merge the districts.

The hearing was conducted by Regional Superintendent of Schools Ron Daniels, who said he would be making a decision on whether to place the question on the November ballot within a short amount of time.

The districts are seeking a partial elementary consolidation. 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. Also, if the question fails in the high school district, the districts would remain the same.

Several months ago, a Committee of Ten was formed made up of citizens from the three Bluford area school districts impacted by the consolidation.

Committee spokesman Carol Rudofski, who is also president of the Webber High School district, spoke in favor of the consolidation issue.

Rudofski listed nine reasons why the petition should be on the ballot. They include: The three districts are experiencing financial difficulties; two of the districts have reduced staff and programs due to financial shortcomings; state financing has declined; the districts are experiencing static or declining enrollments; consolidation would allow the district to be more united in their mission for children; consolidation would help eliminate duplication of services; consolidation will allow for the combining of resources; the curriculum may be enhanced as the districts share resources; and the grade school would have access to expanded courses to be offered.

“We want to emphasize we feel the reorganization of these three districts into one unit district is in the best interest of the students, staff and the communities,” Rudofski said. “We feel consolidation will enhance the fine job of education each of these districts presently offer in the face of difficult financial obstacles. We feel this reorganization will make the three districts and their respective communities stronger.”

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