School districts consolidate, share superintendents

School districts consolidate, share superintendents Declining enrollments and the resulting decreased revenues have some South Dakota school boards looking for more ways to cut costs.

Two options getting increased attention are the consolidation of two or more neighboring districts and the sharing of one superintendent/CEO.

The 2003-2004 school year started with 172 public school districts � two fewer than last year. The new consolidations are:

* Alpena dissolved and attached its land areas to Huron, Wolsey, Wessington Springs and Woonsocket;

* Lake Hendricks dissolved and attached to Deubrook Area School District;

* Sisseton and Veblen consolidated into Sisseton Public School 54-2.

The total was boosted by one when Lennox School District split into the Tea Area District and Lennox District.

In addition, four public school districts are sharing two superintendents or CEOs this year. They are Irene and Wakonda School Districts, both headed by Superintendent Larry Johnke, and Carthage and Iroquois School Districts, sharing CEO Lori Wehlander.

The fall enrollment numbers are reported to the Department of Education at the end of September each year, giving officials an early picture of the number of students in each school district. State aid to education is distributed to public schools based on the number of students enrolled throughout the school year.

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