Villages considering consolidating school districts

By Anthony Antoine |

Published 01/27 2014 03:14PM

Updated 01/27 2014 03:19PM

BEMENT -- Most of Bement and Cerro Gordo sports are combined, but a recent recommendation might put both high schools under one roof as well. A consulting company says sending Bement students to Cerro Gordo will save everyone money, but parents are a bit concerned. WCIA-3's Anthony Antoine has more.

The Village Board of Bement hasn't even gone over all of its options since the meeting, but one of the biggest issues in town is teachers. It's possible some of them will be left without jobs.

"I feel the teachers in Bement do a great job with our students with what they have and I'm very proud of that."

But, that can change. A consulting company suggests Bement High School be deactivated, sending about 100 kids to Cerro Gordo.

"I'm thinking about our teachers here. What's going to happen to them?"

It's possible they'll be without jobs.

"They're cost-savings from the administrative side because you won't need as many administrators."

Their salaries will be the biggest part of a $125,000 savings for the village, but the superintendent says transportation costs will increase by about $50,000, bringing that cost-savings down to about $75,000.

"I feel like both my kids have gotten very good educations."

Enrollment is down at both schools, but test scores are up at Cerro Gordo.

"Cerro Gordo scores were considerably higher than Bement's. Some of that can be attributed to the fact that we have a lot more special education needs in Bement than they do in Cerro Gordo."

The deactivation also comes with some government assistance, but event that concerns parents.

"With the budget and the way the state is, would those incentives actually come to fruition?"

If passed, the combined enrollment at Cerro Gordo would be 300 students. The town's income would increase by about $160,000. The Bement Village Board plans to meet February 12. If all goes well, it could be on the ballot as soon as November.

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