OLNEY, Ill. (WTHI) After a long process two Wabash Valley school districts combined today. It’s a story we first told you about last year.
In the face tough economic times the West Richland School district had a difficult choice: Be absorbed into nearby East Richland or make significant cuts to their programs. The district chose to be annexed and today marked the end of the West Richland School district.
Last fall we took you through the halls of the shrinking West Richland School district. At the time the school board had voted to annex into nearby East Richland for the next school year. But the community had other thoughts.
“We did receive the order that we would be annexing on July 1st, but with the lawsuit there was that question,” East Richland School superintendent Marilyn Holt said. “That lawsuit came before the judge and the judge did dismiss it.”
A move that made the 1st of July also the 1st day that there will be only one school district in Richland County.
“So we moved last week and then this morning we moved the district office over and their files and records,” Holt said.
The district will keep a Pre-K through 5th grade building in Noble, but all of the other students will be attending school 10 minutes down the road in Olney.
By combining the two districts, the new district will actually receive more money from the state…
“Next year we will receive almost a half a million dollars, about $500,000,” Holt explained. “Then the next two years it will be greater than that it will be probably a million, just because of the annexation.”
While that may seem good for the East Richland district, Superintendent Holt explained tax wise, the move will prove better for the citizens of West Richland.
You see the tax levy for their district was 60 cents higher last than the East Richland citizens.
“It’s not about our past, it’s not even about our future it’s about these kids making the most of their time in school,” Holt said. “I think that’s the exciting piece for them. They will have opportunities.”