Why the Unit 9 BOE is participating in the Feasibility Study
On April 10, 2018, the Unit 9 Board of Education voted 7-0 to participate in a feasibility study to explore school reorganization options with any other district that was interested.
Community members may ask why is it necessary to pay an outside party to do a feasibility study instead of having interested districts put together pertinent data? The Unit 9 BOE felt that contracting an outside source to do a feasibility study is a financial investment worth making. It demonstrates to our community and other districts that the Board is serious about and committed to the idea of reorganization, including the possibility of consolidating with other districts. It allows districts involved to get unbiased information and evaluation of facts about the districts.
The possibility of moving toward reorganization is a huge decision for any district taking part. This Board wishes to gather the most comprehensive, unbiased information from an organization that specializes in reorganization and has experience doing feasibility studies.
Currently, Crescent-Iroquois is the only other district that has voted to be included in a feasibility study. We anticipate that the information of the study will give both communities an unbiased overview of each district and will help each community decide if and which type of reorganization is best for the students and taxpayers of the respective districts.
This is not a decision the board has rushed into. In the past two years, the board has attended educational sessions on types of reorganization, steps to reorganization, and the use of a feasibility study as a tool to evaluate if reorganization is a beneficial move for the students and taxpayers in our district. The flooding of Nettie Davis school hastened reaching out to other districts to discuss doing a feasibility study, but it was an option Unit 9 BOE had been exploring for several years.
The board and interested community members recently had three separate meetings in which information about the feasibility study was presented. The first conversation happened during Unit 9’s State of the District event on March 16.
On March 19, Dr. Bill Phillips, a retired superintendent who now consults school districts on reorganization, gave a presentation at the regular board meeting on conducting a feasibility study. On April 4, the Unit 9 Board, along with Board members from Crescent-Iroquois and Iroquois West, were part of a community informational meeting about a feasibility study with Dr. Phillips.
We look forward to continued discussion with any individual or district that wishes to discuss what’s best for the education of our children. With declining enrollment in rural areas and decreased stability of funding from the state of Illinois, we support considering school reorganization as a way to stabilize and improve school districts.
Unit 9 Board of Education