“We’re probably looking at late April or early May before we know anything if our board files the petition after our meeting on the 28th,” Clark said. Clark and Martin said it will be a “challenge” to make the transition into the Ina district by the 2014-2015 school year, although the schools have begun that process. The sports teams have already been consolidated.
“I’m very confident the Regional Board will follow the recommendations of the petition we will present,” Clark said.
“I have no idea how they (trustees) will respond, but they very rarely go against the choice of the school district themselves,” said Jefferson-Hamilton counties ROE Ron Daniels. “I will work with them in any decision they make as a local body, as well as the parents of their community.”
Dodds currently has 132 pupils; Ina’s enrollment is a little over 100. As a result of a state study conducted by Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon, and legislation approved, districts with an enrollment of 750 and under can petition for consolidation and receive state incentives.
Clark said if the dissolution and annexation occurs, the Ina district would be given approximately $1,374,240 from the state in incentive money over a four-year period.
“That money and dissolving will allow us to staff the building like we used to, and provide many activities that we currently do not offer to our students,” Clark said, noting those activities could include a music program, art, drama, technology classes, student council, Beta Club, school newspaper, and a full time nurse.
Additionally, all teaching staff will be retained automatically under contract negotiations; and Clark’s contract — which runs through 2005 — will have to be honored by the Ina district. Clark’s wife, Monte Jo, is the superintendent of the Ina School district.
Clark said both buildings will have to remain open due to enrollment numbers.