A number of residents and patrons of both the Oldham-Ramona and Rutland School Districts attended an informational presentation regarding possible consolidation of the two districts on Wednesday night in Madison. The presentation was part of a special joint meeting of the two districts’ school boards. Tom Oster of Dakota Education Consulting told those attending the meeting both in person and via Zoom that there are three types of re-organization for districts.
Oster presented information on all three areas, with a focus on consolidation. He said that ultimately, the voters in each district decide whether or not to approve a consolidation plan, which would have to be put forth by both districts. Oster said that if building a new school is part of that plan, it will also have to be approved by voters in the districts. He said that in this case, a new school building would most likely be a part of the plan.
Oster said a vote on consolidation requires a simple majority vote to pass, while a bond for building requires 60-percent.
Oster said that both the Oldham-Ramona and Rutland School Districts currently have perpetual opt-outs, which will go away if the districts consolidate. He said that there would be fewer staff if the districts combine, but that there will be more programming and opportunities for the students.
During his hour-long presentation, Oster also outlined some of the next steps in the process.
Oster and school administrators also fielded a number of questions from those in attendance Wednesday night.
A link to a video of the entire joint meeting and more information can be found on the Oldham-Ramona School District’s website.
Both school boards hold their regular meetings this month on Monday, June 14th.