Residents arguing over school consolidation in Metro East

(KPLR) - There is a heated election brewing in the Metro East.  At the center of the dispute are students and their education.  Residents in East Alton, Wood River and Hartford are fighting over whether their school districts should be consolidated.

You don’t see a lot of candidate signs for the November election in the communities but you will find yes and no signs everywhere. People for consolidation say it would create one curriculum for all students.  That way when elementary students enter high school they are prepared and all of them are on the same page.

Dawnna Wells has a vote yes sign in her yard and she favors consolidation, “To get the curriculum right when they get to the high school to better suit them and teach them better.” Vote yes people believe the change will result in higher test scores.  That’s how Chuck Johansen feels, “We want to make sure the curriculum is unified throughout the district and make it one district.”

People voting no say consolidation won’t help and they estimate it will cost taxpayers another million dollars in taxes. Tom D is working to defeat consolidation, “If you consolidate districts the teachers all on lower pay scales all get brought up to the higher pay school which is the high school level.”

Debra Dunn adds, “We’re taxed enough and this is just a small town.”

The consolidation issue will be settled at the polls in the November election.