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Meaade 46-1 School Board Meeting Recap

Meaade 46-1 School Board Meeting Recap

Meade School Board - meeting next month to discuss redistricting


Gary Matthews - August 13, 2019

STURGIS, S.D. – The head of the South Dakota Department of Education plans to visit with the Meade 46-1 School Board next month to discuss a proposed redistricting plan for the rural areas.

The planned visit by Dr. Ben Jones follows a request by three board members from the rural area who want their own school district.

Meade 46-1 School Superintendent Jeff Simmons says "I think it's safe to say some of our rural folks feel like they're overtaxed and underserved in the area's out there. They pay a lot of taxes in capital outlay to our school district and I believe they would like to see it used in a different way than perhaps the school uses it."

Simmons says when requests like this are received, it garners the attention of the state.

"There's many cases where boundary lines are redrawn and they make sense because of where families live, so on and so forth. They're actually suggesting drawing a line and creating a new district and when something like that gets discussed, it gets the attention of the Department of Education fairly rapidly."

John Nachtigall of Elm Springs, Lee Spring of Atall, and J.T. Vig of Opal are the thre board members who have been vocal about their concerns of underfunding of the rural schools. They were elected to the board this past June.  

Simmons says for the redistricting to pass, it would take a vote of district patrons.

Should a new district be formed, it would mean the Meade 46-1 School District would lose the tax valuation of the ag land in the rural area. About 30-percent of the valuation of the Meade 46-1  School District is ag land.

The meeting with Dr. Ben Jones is being scheduled for September 10 in Union Center.

In other news from the district, the board approved new bus routes at their Monday night meeting, eliminating one in town route.

Simmons explains why.

"The one that is significant in our town is the tennis court bus route, which is being eliminated. That has caused some angst with some of our folks, but by policy we don't provide in town bus routes so we have eliminated that."

The board also approved the emergency bus pact, which will allow buses from other districts across the state to help out should a Meade 46-1 School bus break down.



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