St. Joseph-Ogden, Grade School districts moving ahead with consolidation study

St. Joseph-Ogden, Grade School districts moving ahead with consolidation study

ST. JOSEPH — Board members with the St. Joseph-Ogden and St. Joseph Grade School districts are set to move forward with a consolidation study.

The study, which will be conducted by three retired superintendents now at the UI-Springfield, will cost $12,500. Grade School Superintendent Todd Pence told his board that the state has $6,000 grants available for such studies but believes whatever the cost for its half is — $3,250 or the full $6,250 — it's worth it.

"Without the facts, it's just opinion, and everyone has an opinion," Pence said. "Is it worth six grand? Personally, I think it is."

Both Pence and SJ-O Superintendent Brian Brooks stressed that a consolidation study would provide the two districts with what they need in order to make an informed decision. The study would examine activities offered in both districts, whether consolidation would offer any new activities to either district or whether there would be any cost savings.

Eight topics will be covered: curriculum, finance, enrollment, buildings, transportation, staffing, academic testing and extracurricular activities.

Said Brooks: "The most important aspect of all of this is whether or not a potential consolidation would benefit kids — and the financial piece of that is a very important one as you have to have proper funding in order to provide the high-quality education our communities expect."

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