GOISD superintendent speaks about consolidation
If passed, debt of each district stays with that district for three years
MARENISCO - Gogebic-Ontonagon Intermediate School District superintendent Bruce Mayle discussed the possible consolidation of the Bessemer and Wakefield-Marenisco school districts on Thursday evening at the Marenisco Township Hall.
Consolidation of the two districts will appear on the August ballot. If passed, the move would occur on July 1, 2015.
The presentation was conducted to discuss issues regarding the proposed consolidation and Mayle introduced the history of the school districts, presented the state code on consolidation of school districts and answered questions from the audience.
"This meeting is to inform the public of what the law actually says," he said.
In 38 years, the GOISD has lost 5,535 students, or 69 percent of the entire student body, Mayle said.
Within 10 days of the vote, if passed, an interim school board would be appointed to plan for the consolidation. The board would serve until the next regular school election in November 2016.
Mayle also discussed the sharing of debt between the districts. "If the vote passes, the debt of each district stays with each district until July 1," he said, "Then after three years, the district may vote to even the debt.
"Currently, no money is approved to assist the districts in consolidation," Mayle said, "However, within one month they'd have to create a budget."
"Most of our districts get very little in categorical aid," he added.
Such aid would help to cover declining enrollment.
"It's never perfect and it's never ideal," Mayle said, "Teachers and students will be affected by this. It's a complex and emotional issue."