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BISD board to mull school district merger
by Scott Reese Willey
Jun 28, 2009 | 2426 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Beeville ISD Trustee Tom Beasley believes he and his colleagues on the board should at least discuss the consolidation of the four school districts in Bee County.

On Monday, he’ll get his wish.

The Beeville ISD board of trustees will meet at noon to discuss how they should go about researching the issue of consolidating independent school districts.

The meeting is open to the public and will be held at school district headquarters on Adams Street.

Beasley, speaking at a candidates’ forum earlier this year, said he believes the four school districts of Pettus, Skidmore-Tynan, Pawnee and Beeville could save taxpayers at least a million annually by combining the districts into one.

“The first step is to see if we even want to explore the issue,” Beasley explained to potential voters gathered at the forum. “If they don’t, then the issue dies right there. But if they believe it’s worth exploring — that we should look into it as a way of saving taxpayers money — then we can approach the other school districts and see if they are interested in exploring the idea.”

He said the school districts each have a superintendent, athletic director, head librarian and other high-salary positions that could be overseen by one person, instead of four.

BISD Superintendent Dr. John Hardwick Jr. discussed the concept with members of the Bee County Chamber of Commerce.

Naturally, school officials, trustees and voters in the school districts of Pawnee, Pettus and Skidmore-Tynan would have a say in any consolidation, both Beasley and Hardwick acknowledge.

Pettus ISD Superintendent Tucker Rackley and Pawnee ISD Superintendent Elaine Richardson do not believe that consolidating their school districts with Beeville ISD is in the best interest of their students or their communities.

Rackley and Richardson shared their concerns with the Bee County Republican Party in May.

They were invited to speak at the Republicans’ regular monthly board meeting to respond to Beasley’s statements.

“Most definitely I do not believe that the people who live out in Pettus ISD will believe it is a wise thing for their children to come to school in Beeville, even if down the road someone might be able to prove that it might save somebody some money,” Rackley told the Republicans. “I don’t believe it would save Pettus ISD taxpayers any money. Pettus ISD already has the lowest tax rate in the county.”

Richardson said she wears many hats as chief executive of such a small school district, hats the superintendent of a consolidated school district would have to wear.

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