With declining enrollments and the education funding problems in South Dakota, it becomes harder and harder to provide for the educational needs of our students. By consolidating the two districts, it will be easier and more efficient to provide the quality education that the children of our communities need. The new Irene/Wakonda School District will be able to provide single elementary grade classrooms and expanded junior and senior high school programs with modern facilities in each community that can meet the future needs of its children. The two school boards felt it is very important that each community has an educational facility for the lifeblood of each community.
State and national standards require that our children today be more competitive and better prepared to meet the future upon graduation from high school. Students are required to take not only more courses today than they were 20 years ago, but they must also take more rigorous courses, such as advanced math courses and more lab science courses.
All of these issues are requiring schools to do more with less money. In order for school districts to accomplish these goals, we must work together and in our case that has come down to consolidation of the Irene and Wakonda school districts. Because of declining enrollment and the state aid formula used in South Dakota, Irene and Wakonda will each lose over $40,000 in revenue for the coming school year. This has been going on for the past few years, resulting in both school districts passing opt-out and raising local taxes.
The Irene/Wakonda Consolidation Plan calls for lessening the total opt-out dollars needed in both districts, and by combining the two districts' resources, the new district will be able to provide a more competitive, quality education for its students at a more efficient cost. Please remember to get out and vote on June 27. The future of our children depends on what we do now.