Vermillion board not ready to act on Wakonda proposal

Vermillion board not ready to act on Wakonda proposal by David Lias The Vermillion School Board decided Monday to meet with Wakonda school officials before taking any formal action on a plan that would dissolve the Wakonda district and attach it to Vermillion.

"Their plan had some ambiguities according to the statutes," Vermillion Superintendent Bob Mayer said. "South Dakota law says that there are 13 steps in reorganization plans. Well, Wakonda really didn't comply with all 13 steps because they had gotten word from Pierre, from the Department of Education, that they didn't need to."

Mayer said the Vermillion School District's attorney has advised the Vermillion board that all steps are necessary in the plan.

"And our school board felt we had to know what this is going to cost," Mayer said, "so a budget is going to have to be developed."

A bus route will have to be drawn up, he said, and the Vermillion board will need some indication of just how many Wakonda students would attend school in Vermillion if the two districts become one.

"Out of 180 kids in the Wakonda district, if they've got 40 of them that live northwest of Wakonda, they're not going to come here," Mayer said.

The action stems from petitions presented to the board last summer by Mike Lovejoy calling for the dissolution of the Wakonda School District.

The election must take place within 90 days of the plan receiving approval in Pierre.

Mayer and Sheila DeSmet, business manager of the Vermillion School District, were scheduled to meet with Flynn and Wakonda's business manager Thursday to work on a potential budget.

The Vermillion board will address the issue once more at a special meeting Monday night.

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