WP, HC co-op/unification talks on hold for time being
By Sheri Hink-Wagner
The Wauneta Breeze
Based on School Board President Jon Anderjaska’s report Monday, it appears co-op/district unification between Wauneta-Palisade (WP) and Hayes Center Public Schools (HC) is on hold.
The WP school board discussed the possible activities agreement (co-op) or district unification at their regular meeting on Monday.
Anderjaska told the board the committee met with a committee from the HC board twice since Feb. 9.
The HC committee originally approached WP to discuss a possible cooperative agreement for high school sports. However, during the Feb. 4 discussion, WP committee members pushed the HC committee to consider either a co-op of all activities for grades 7-12 or a unification of the two school districts.
At last month’s WP school board meeting, committee members stated they were strongly advocating for unification of the districts over a co-op.
At Monday’s meeting Anderjaska told the WP board the two committees have had some good discussions, but that the “ball is in Hayes Center’s court at this time.”
He said the option that most appeals to WP is unification over an activities co-op, which he indicated did not “excite” the Hayes Center committee.
“It’s something that’s ongoing,” explained Anderjaska.
Anderjaska told the WP board the HC board is facing other bigger issues currently and said he doesn’t expect the co-op/unification discussions with WP to continue at this time.
“We’re not in a big hurry,” said Anderjaska. “Our numbers are coming back and our athletic teams look strong for next year.”
According to Anderjaska, the HC board discussed co-op options with Wallace and Maywood, as well.
“If they [Hayes Center] call and ask to meet again, we’ll meet with them,” Anderjaska explained.
The Hayes Center school board met Monday for their regular monthly meeting where they discussed information regarding an activities co-op. HC School board member Connie Brott said no decisions have been made.
Public comments on
Wauneta-Palisade constituent Mick Majors attended the WP school board meeting Monday.
During public comments at the beginning of the agenda Majors urged the WP board to talk to other schools before making a co-op, unification or merger decision.
Majors handed WP board members a document containing information about several area school districts which compared the districts’ tax valuations, levies, enrollment and per-student tax askings.
He cited the lower tax levy of .59747 at Chase County Schools (CCS), as well as additional core curriculum offerings and athletic programs as rationale for WP to discuss cooperation with CCS before making a decision. WP’s current tax levy is 1.06.