Board to look at redistricting in Meade County

STURGIS, S.D. (KBHB) – The head of the South Dakota Department of Education plans to visit with the Meade 46-1 School Board next month to discuss a proposed redistricting plan for the rural areas.

The planned visit by Dr. Ben Jones follows a request by three board members from the rural area who want their own school district.

Meade 46-1 School Superintendent Jeff Simmons talked about the situation.

Simmons says when requests like this are received, it garners the attention of the state.

John Nachtigall of Elm Springs, Lee Spring of Atall, and J.T. Vig of Opal are the three board members who have been vocal about their concerns of underfunding of the rural schools. They were elected to the board this past June.

Simmons says for the redistricting to pass, it would take a vote of district patrons.

Should a new district be formed, it would mean the Meade 46-1 School District would lose the tax valuation of the ag land in the rural area. About 30-percent of the valuation of the Meade 46-1  School District is ag land.

The meeting with Dr. Ben Jones is being scheduled for Sept. 10 in Union Center.

In other news from the district, the board approved new bus routes at their Monday night meeting, eliminating one in town route.

Simmons explains why.

The board also approved the emergency bus pact, which will allow buses from other districts across the state to help out should a Meade 46-1 School bus break down.