Borden exploring idea of joining East Washington School Corporation
After a failed referendum, schools in West Clark are looking into splitting up.
After a failed referendum, schools in West Clark have begun looking into splitting up. That includes the community of Borden, which is exploring the possibility of joining the neighboring East Washington School Corporation.
Late last year, the West Clark Community School board voted for Silver Creek to secede from the district. The future of the district, which also includes Henryville schools, still isn't clear.
"Any time a school corporation, or anyone, goes through a divorce, you have to start looking at dividing up assets, dividing up liabilities," said Brian Hurst, a West Clark school board member who represents Borden. "East Washington did express interest about annexing in the Borden school system."
Like Borden, the East Washington School Corporation is made up of one elementary, one middle and one high school, all on the same campus. Just a few miles separate the neighboring communities, and they have a lot in common.
"We're rivals on the basketball court, but our makeup of being rural are very similar with each other," Hurst said. "So it can be a fairly good fit."
East Washington School leaders said its board hasn't had any formal discussions about the idea, but it's something to consider.
"We want to make sure any decisions we make moving forward is in the best decision of our community," said Dennis Stockdale, Superintendent of East Washington School Corp. "But at the end of the day, we're neighbors, and if there's any way we can help Borden, we definitely want to take a look at it."
If Borden were to join the district, Stockdale said East Washington would not consider consolidating schools. Borden's facilities would remain intact. School leaders said the idea is still in the very early stages.
"In terms of any decisions, we are committed to making sure before we move down any kind of road like this annexation, our community will be involved in those discussions from day one," Stockdale said.
If it were to go through, officials said the process could take several years. Hurst said under state statute, it's less complicated for schools to join another district, and his community wants to have options.
"We're being very proactive at Borden, just to try to determine what's best for us," he said.
East Washington school officials will be at a town hall meeting to give more information to Borden residents. That will take place at Borden Town Hall at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 31.
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