Mt. Vernon Register-News

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May 10, 2014

McClellan eyes reorganization

MT. VERNON — McClellan Grade School is investigating several reorganization options to help alleviate its financial challenges.

In March, the school’s referendum question seeking to raise the Property Tax Limitation law was soundly defeated.

If the question had passed, the district would have seen about $75,000 in revenue. The same referendum will likely appear on this November’s ballot.

“We’re going to try to stay an elementary district independently as long as we can,” said Charlie Peterson, superintendent/principal of the McClellan Grade School district. “The referendum on the March ballot would’ve helped tremendously.”

Recently, school officials had discussed consolidating with Waltonville Unit 1, but have now determined such a measure would not be possible, Peterson said.

“We can’t consolidate,” Peterson said. “There are no provisions in the school code for elementary districts to consolidate with a unit district (like) Waltonville.”

School officials are now considering alternative options, but the investigation has not yet reached the feasibility study stage, Peterson said. Any action on this would be several years down the road, he said.

Aside from consolidation, the main reorganization options include a school district conversion, a partial elementary unit

formation, annexation and deactivation, according to the Illinois State Board of Education’s website.

A school district conversion involves forming a single new high school district and new elementary districts based on the boundaries of dissolved unit districts, the website states.

The partial elementary unit option would create a “hybrid” unit district made up of “all the territory for high school purposes but only a portion of the territory for elementary purposes,” the site states.

In McClellan’s case, the hybrid district would likely be made up of a high school district and elementary feeder districts.

Annexation means a portion or all of one school district is incorporated into another. Deactivation is the closure of a school, which would require students to be sent to other districts.

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