Catlin-Jamaica hearing brings crowd, no opposition

Catlin-Jamaica hearing brings crowd, no opposition

DANVILLE — A public hearing on the proposed consolidation of the Catlin and Jamaica school districts this week drew a good crowd, but only a handful of public comments.

Cheryl Reifsteck, the regional superintendent of Vermilion County schools, sought community input after a petition to consider the merger was passed by both school boards.

Three dozen people attended the hearing, including four Catlin board members, four Jamaica board members, both district superintendents and four school staff members. Just four people made public comments.

Ann Venters, a former Jamaica board member, encouraged Reifsteck to endorse the plan. "This is the best for our children and our grandchildren," she said.

David Dutton, a Catlin board member, added: "This is a question that should be put before the voters."

Reifsteck said the petition met the state requirements, and was valid. She said she'd send her recommendation on the proposed consolidation to the state superintendent within 14 days.

If the state superintendent approves the plan, a ballot question could appear for voters in the two districts to consider as early as Nov. 4.

If it passed, the new district would begin with the 2015-16 school year.

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