School District Consolidation Bill Shot Down By House Panel

Monday, February 15th 2016, 11:32 am
By: Aaron Brilbeck

A bill that could have consolidated the services of some schools died in in a House committee. 

Hundreds turned out for the committee meeting on House Bill 2824.

House Speaker Pro Tempore Lee Denney authored the bill. 

“Are we doing right by our kids by having so many school districts when you look at? And I’ve seen the maps, when you look at neighboring states; the number of school districts they’ve reduced this overhead,” Denney asked.

Denney insisted the bill would not lead to the closing of any schools, just the consolidation of some jobs. 

“I’m talking about back office people,” Denney said. 

Denney said the bill would also give failing schools the opportunity to improve their performance before they would be considered for consolidation. But she didn't get the support she needed to move the bill out of committee. 

Rep. Ed Cannaday was afraid it would reduce local control of schools. 

“And that’s the scary part,” Cannaday said. “Once you go down that trail, it’s a … very easily followed by other things. So I would guess it’s a word of caution there.”

The parents News 9 spoke with were happy with the vote. 

“You know, we’re just elated,” Myra Pierson said. “We’re very happy and feel like this is just the first hurdle of getting where we need to be.”

There are several similar bills in the senate.