NEW: FREEMAN PUBLIC DABBLES IN CONSOLIDATION CONVERSATION
JEREMY WALTNER – PUBLISHER
A question raised by school officials from Marion this past summer about a possible sports cooperative with Freeman Public turned into a larger discussion about possible consolidation at the Freeman School Board meeting Wednesday night, Oct. 14.
Superintendent Kevin Kunz asked the board if they were interested in continuing the conversation with or without Tom Oster, the consultant hired by the board last year to conduct strategic planning that is ongoing. Oster was part of an informal meeting between two members of both the Freeman and Marion school boards earlier this month and has worked on strategic planning with the Marion School District.
“I think we’re OK right now, but I don’t want to be the last B school without a dance partner at prom,” said Freeman School Board member Slade Ammann. “We’re going to have to think about it at some point; I don’t know if it needs to be sooner or later.”
Board member Mark Miller said consolidation needs to be long-term conversation — “with somebody you can work with over the next 12 to 15 years. This feels a little rushed. It’s almost like we went from a first date to talking marriage already.”
Miller and board member Corey Gall both said public input will be helpful in determining which direction, if any, to take. After all, Gall said, consolidation ultimately comes down to a vote of the people.
And with other moving pieces — Freeman’s football co-op with Canistota and Marion’s sports co-op with Freeman Academy — there are many more questions than answers.
More on that — and other school news — next week.