School consolidation talks move forward
After multiple meetings about potential consolidation, Grass Valley and Nevada City school districts will be voting on whether or not their board members will move forward in developing a petition which would be sent to the Board of Education to consolidate the districts at a 6 p.m. meeting today.
“Up until now, the boards have not found anything that has caused them to stop the discussion,” said Nevada County Superintendent Holly Hermansen.
“I think they’re still in the process of gathering information and understanding the impact.”
Grass Valley School District Superintendent Eric Fredrickson said tonight’s meeting will give a detailed account of the consolidation process.
“I think this meeting will be pretty insightful and give a more detailed picture of what the consolidation process is,” Fredrickson said.
“The presentation that Holly Hermansen is giving will be very detailed and gives the board a chance to look at the steps of whether or not to file a petition, or if they need more information.”
Hermansen will be speaking at the meeting about the implications of consolidation regarding funding, salary wages, school-site configuration, administrative structure and transportation services.
The Department of Education treats a newly reorganized district as separate for three years,
making funding the same for each of the individual districts during those years. Any financial benefit of consolidation would not be seen for the three-year period.
Consolidating would also require reviewing employee salaries, as both districts would need uniform salaries for positions; the effect of changes in bus routes; and changes in the way funding is acquired.
So far there have not been significant negative financial consequences of consolidating identified, Hermansen said.
“At the last meeting the business manager presented a report to both boards about the fiscal impact and there was no negative impact that they could see,” Hermansen said.
Hermansen said the board is hoping to gain community input on the consolidation matter.
“I also think that they’re looking forward to hearing from employees in the community and public,” Hermansen said.
“So far we’ve had very little public input.”
The meeting will take place in Nevada City at the Nevada County Superintendent of Schools Houser Room at 112 Nevada City Highway.
To contact Staff Writer Jennifer Terman, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (530) 477-4230.
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