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Election

EUREKA — A joint study is recommending the consolidation of the Congerville, Goodfield, Eureka District 140 and Roanoke-Benson District 60 school districts.

The four-month reorganizational feasibility was conducted by a three-member panel from Midwest School Consultants.

Individual school boards would decide if they want to pursue consolidation and voters in both districts would make the final decision.

The study analyzed financial profiles, enrollment, curriculum, transportation, facilities and incentives to consolidate.

Midwest suggested two possible configurations:

  • Put all high school students at Eureka High School, close Roanoke-Benson Junior High and move those students to the school in Roanoke. Elementary students in District 140 would remain where they are.
  • Put all students in grades 9-12 at Eureka High and create an industrial technology center at R-B High School. R-B Junior High students would move into the Roanoke buildings. R-B K-4 students would move to the junior high in Benson. District 140 students would remain where they are.

However, under either option, both Congerville and Goodfield buildings need major repair work. 

The study showed that declining enrollment likely will continue, possibly decreasing by a combined total of 100 students in the next five years. Consolidation likely would mean more opportunities such as additional pre-K, more electives in junior high and more vocational, business, visual arts, dual credit and Advanced Placement (AP) classes at the high school.

District 140 currently has a total tax rate of $4.96; R-B’s tax rate is $5.61. If the districts consolidated, each district would retain its own current bond debt and the bond levies would continue separately for each district.

Generally, salaries in District 140 are higher than Roanoke-Benson. Teachers would retain tenure, but a new collective bargaining agreement would be negotiated.

The state offers financial incentives to consolidate. A combined district would result in a new at-large school board being elected, a new name and possible changes in school colors and mascot.

The first time the issue could be put on the ballot would be in November, and the petition would have to be completed by August. A majority of voters in each district would have to approve the issue, or it would not happen. Phillips said it generally takes about two years for the process to be completed.