Several school districts in northeast Nebraska are exploring potential sharing arrangements. School boards from Hartington, Newcastle and Wynot are all in talks.
Hartington superintendent Randy Anderson says they got the results of a consultant’s study just last week.
Anderson says, “The actual study itself addressed the issue of student enrollments in all three schools, finances in the three schools and the availability of staff and facilities.”
He says the report concludes the problem of shrinking student enrollment would carry on, no matter the shape or size of any merged district.
“The study shows that if you were to put two of the districts together, be it Wynot-Newcastle or perhaps Newcastle-Hartington, the final outcome is still the same,” Anderson says. “The schools would, of course, become larger in size but eventually, your enrollments are just going to continue to become smaller.”
Anderson says each school board will look over the study separately and decide if it wants to continue discussions about possible mergers.
“Each board will review it and try to determine if there is an appropriate way to proceed or if we need to look at other alternatives,” Anderson says.
“What those alternatives might be are still a gray area.” In the weeks to come, he says they’ll discuss a host of other issues, like finances, curriculum and program offerings for students.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton