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The North Bend Eagle


 

Prague-East Butler merger moved up

by Nathan Arneal
Published 4/21/10

At its April 14 meeting, the Prague school board moved forward with the process of closing its high school and preparing to merge its district with East Butler.

At its own meeting two night earlier, the East Butler school board agreed to accelerate the merger process between the two districts by one year.

Prague had originally planned on operating its school district through the 2010-2011 school year, but a high volume of freeholder petitions moving land out of the district forced the board to close its high school at a special meeting April 11.

Now Prague and East Butler will target a merger date of June 1, 2010.

East Butler agreed to keep an elementary attendance center open in Prague through the 2015-2016 school year, though Prague superintendent Ray Collins cautioned the Prague board the attendance center may not host all grades K-6.

Three member of the Prague school board will join the six East Butler board members to form a nine-member school board.

“I would have to say, as it all got done, it’s probably about as good (of a deal) as we could have hoped for,” Collins said.

Collins also said the East Butler school district reserved the right to pull out of the merger agreement if the value of the land leaving the Prague district via freeholder petition exceeded $28.5 million. So far, about $16.7 million of land is petitioning to move from the Prague district into the North Bend Central school district.

Collins told the board NBC superintendant Jim Havelka offered to renew the hot lunch service NBC currently provides Prague. A decision on that matter will be made at a later time.

With the Prague district no longer existing by next fall, the football co-op agreement between it and North Bend will not happen. When the dust settles from the freeholder petitions and possible option enrollments, NBC may still gain some former Prague students.

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