OA and BCIG voters sweep to consolidate schools

Friday, June 30, 2017

After two previous attempts failed, voters in both Odebolt-Arthur and Battle Creek-Ida Grove school districts have easily passed a proposal to consolidate the area districts.

In the Odebolt-Arthur district, the measure passed by a vote of 418 to 163 Tuesday. In the BC-IG district, it was approved 540-70. A consolidation vote requires over 50 percent approval.

In the two previous elections, in 2011 and 2016, O-A voters had killed the measure, concerned about representation in a combined district. The districts had continued to operate under a whole-grade sharing arrangement that has been inlace for nearly a decade, with each district independently operating an elementary school, Odebolt hosting the middle school and Ida Grove the high school. The districts already share a superintendent and some other management positions.

Currently, plans are for four seats on the initial O-A/BCIG school board to be appointed from BCIG, and two from O-A. The consolidation becomes official in July of 2018. A joint committee is expected to address facilities.

Combined, the two districts currently serve about 1,000 students.