The Byers Consolidation Exploratory Committee presented its findings about the process of closing the Byers Schools at a meeting Monday evening, Dec. 12, in the school cafeteria.
Kim Childs, interim superintendent of Byers ISD, and Weldon Craig, school board vice-president, spoke to a crowd of about 50 residents of the Byers school district.
Craig told the attendees there has been no decision for Byers to consolidate with another school district. Earlier talks with Petrolia ISD and Henrietta ISD have yielded no decisions concerning consolidation with either school district.
Childs reminded Byers residents that the school will not be able to remain open due to low enrollment and the change in state school funding. Remaining open during the 2012-2013 school year and proceeding with education as usual is not an option. Changes will have to be made.
Childs said there are three other options for Byers ISD
The first option is to abolish the school district. This would be done by scheduling an election where residents of the district would vote to close the school. If the vote was in favor of closing, the Clay County commissioners would then decide disposition of school taxes and school property. It would also decide where students would attend school.
The second option is to let the school district become dormant. That would entail the school buildings sitting empty and closed to classes for one year. Students from Byers school district would attend school in another district during that year. After one year, the commissioners would then be directed by the state to abolish the school district and to designate the disposition of taxes and property.
The third option is to consolidate with another school district. An election would be scheduled for residents of both districts to vote on the issue. If residents of both districts voted in favor of consolidation, Byers would consolidate with that district. If votes were not in favor, then the process would revert back to either of the other options.
Childs believes it is in the best interest of the students and the community to consolidate.
After discussion the group came to the consensus that consolidation would be the best option and agreed the Byers Consolidation Exploratory Committee should present that option at the next school board meeting.
The school consolidation issue will be an action item on the school board agenda at its meeting, Thursday, Dec.15. The meeting starts at 5:45 p.m. and will be held in the Byers school cafeteria at 100 Harrison Street, Byers.