Plans for Williston's district 1 and district 8 are still up in the air.

Published: Apr. 3, 2018 at 8:04 AM CDT
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My concern would be the taxes that may go up and trying to figure out different needs as far as not losing our busing routes," says Melissa Tuengel, Williston Resident.

School board members from district 1 argued in last week's meeting that class sizes are rapidly growing. Both districts are now examining whether the idea of merging the districts would ease the strain.

"I think there's a good point raised that we are all Williston and need to move forth in that direction if we can, but it's not an easy process," says Michael Campbell, Williston Public School District 1 Superintendent.

Right now both districts will work together to form a committee with two members from each district in order to reach a common ground.

"One the districts would have to dissolve or they would have to be called to a reorganization, basically meaning the two boards will have to work together and work collaboratively, develop some kind of plan to make that happen and then it would have to be approved by the state and eventually go to voters for approval," says Rob Turner, Williams County School District 8 Superintendent.

Busing concerns are one of the many issues board members from district 8 have.

"I think it was pretty evident their board was pretty adamant about the fact that it would go away so that's a concern for our constituents," says Turner.

District 1 does not have busing other than for students that qualify for busing. Campbell says if the districts were to merge, it shouldn't be a problem.

"I have seen this in the past when school districts did reorganize into one school district the compact had a condition in there busing would continue so it's something as they move forward in discussion on what they want to do and not do," says Campbell.

There's no concrete answer on what will happen in the future, but the districts say coming together is a step in the right direction.

"We are willing to help in any way possible I think that's pretty evident we will do what we can to help them, but as far as reorganization and passing that debt to our taxpayers I don't think they are for it," says Turner.

More discussion on having 2 board members on each board will be set sometime later this month.

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