Regional Superintendent of Schools Ron Daniels has gone on record saying the trustees would likely approve the petition based on the wishes of the district.
During his presentation, Clark explained the Dodds district approved $150,000 in revenue bonds for its Education Fund to offset the budget; and $100,000 was taken from the Transportation Fund to pay bills last year. He said one teacher retired and three more were RIF’d (Reduction in Force) although one of those teachers was recalled following the retirement of another teacher. With kindergarten being the exception, teachers at Dodds are teaching two grades each. He said if the annexation takes place, he is confident Dodds will remain a K through 8 building next school year, and the district may be able to go back to single classes for each grade.
If the annexation petition is approved, the Ina district would receive approximately $1.4 million in incentive money from the state. The incentives are based on fund balances, state aid formulas and differences in salaries, Clark pointed out, plus the district will be given $4,000 per certified staff member.
“If we wait until next year, this will drop significantly,” Clark said. “This is another reason the board is looking at this option.”
The Dodds district could still consolidate, without annexation, into the Ina district. However, the earliest that could appear on a ballot is April 2015, according to Clark.