Half a dozen school districts in southwest Iowa are looking at establishing a regional high school to save money and make their operation more efficient. Farragut school superintendent Jay Lutt says it was a reaction to state funding limitations and the potential for efficiency in a shared school.Lutt says at this time last year, lawmakers were considering making some districts consolidate “by force,” so they decided to have someone to a feasibility study for the districts. The schools hired University of Nebraska Omaha education administration professor Ken Rippe, who traveled to all six districts and interviewed administrators, teachers and board members. Lutt says every school district would like to remain intact in every way, but he says the researcher helped brush aside misconceptions and keep the focus on the education of children. The heads of all the districts will gather to hear results of the study from the U.N.O. professor. He thinks it’ll include a lot of data about students, what classes would be offered, and what the administrators could do with a school that size — but all far in the future, and Lutt says the report won’t have much that’ll catch anyone off guard. Dr. Rippe presents the results of his feasibility study next month to the administrators of Farragut, Fremont-Mills, Hamburg, Malvern, Nishna Valley and Sidney schools. Board members in each district will then make the report public.
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