Residents in the Exira-Elk Horn School Districts have their chance to vote on the reorganization of the districts today. The two districts have been sharing teachers and sports for the past few years but now they are looking at sharing the entire district. Superintendent Dean Schnoes says the reorganization stems from dropping enrollment in the two schools,
Schnoes: “Lot of this comes from dropping in enrollment and wanting to use the staff and facilities you have. And seeing what was going on, we wanted to whole grade share so we can use the staff and facilities. At the same time, it gives you the added supplemental money from the state that comes with whole grade sharing.”
He said the state was seeing smaller schools lose enrollment so they implemented the whole grade sharing and lead to reorganization for a bigger district. Another reason for the districts to reorganize is the state has said starting July 1st, 2014, no funding can be shared between districts. Schnoes says by reorganizing, residents in both districts will see a decrease in property taxes,
Schnoes: “The next thing is by reorganizing you can lower property taxes for patrons for three years. So instead of paying the normal $5.45 per thousand of a set value, it drops to $4.45 the first year. It goes to $4.85 then $5.15 and then back to the $5.45. I look at it as it is out there and the best route for us to use the incentives from the state and reorganize.”
Schnoes says one of the nice benefits is the students already see the schools as one district,
Schnoes: “These students have gotten a long real well and see it as one district. The other nice benefit is we will keep a building in each district. Students will be able to attend buildings that are well kept and continue to get a quality education. The students overall will be able to continue operating of knowing they can continue going to the two school districts we have now.”
Residents in the Elk Horn Kimballton School District can vote at the Elk Horn High School and patrons in the Exira School District can cast their ballot on the reorganization Exira Recreation Center. Polling places open from noon to 8pm today.