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Superintendent News & Views
July 9, 2017

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Most patrons of the Gladbrook-Reinbeck Community School District understand that the district has been progressing through a legal dissolution process in recent months. The dissolution process officially started when the required number of district residents presented a petition to the G-R Board of Directors calling for the district to be dissolved. In response, the school board appointed a dissolution commission, and the commission has been working through the steps of dissolution as required by law.

We are nearing the end of this process, and a public vote on whether the district will dissolve will be taking place soon almost certainly this September. One final opportunity for district patrons to give input to the school board will take place at a public hearing which will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, July 17 in the commons at Gladbrook-Reinbeck Junior/Senior High School.

The regular monthly school board meeting will follow the public hearing, and at this meeting I expect the Board to adopt a resolution calling for a ballot question to be voted on during the upcoming school board election. Ballot language in which a "YES" vote means, "Yes, dissolve the district," and a "NO" vote means, "No, do not dissolve the district I want to keep G-R schools," will be submitted to county election officials for a vote to take place on Tuesday, September 12, 2017.

If you are one of the many people who have contacted me stating that you'd like to see Gladbrook-Reinbeck remain a school district, please don't let these latest steps in the process cause you to be upset with the school board members. They are calling for this election because it is the next step in a process that they are legally required to follow.

Reports in some of our regional media have led to misperceptions about the proposed dissolution. Headlines such as "Gladbrook-Reinbeck Dissolution Moving Forward," or "No Public Objections to Dissolution" are very misleading, and they may cause people to think that the Board is in favor of dissolving the district.

That's why I'm pleased to report that the Gladbrook-Reinbeck Board of Education has decided to make it clear to the public that they are unanimously AGAINST the dissolution of the G-R district. Your board members want G-R to remain G-R, and they have now taken decisive action to make that perfectly clear.

The Board recently passed a resolution which confirms their unanimous opposition to the dissolution of the Gladbrook-Reinbeck Community School District. The resolution explains that as elected officials entrusted with public education, it is the Board's responsibility to inform the public of the importance of the upcoming election.

The full text of the Board's resolution is included elsewhere in this edition of the paper. You can also read it or download a copy at tinyurl.com/DissolutionResolution. I encourage you to share this with others so that everyone will be clear about the Board's intentions.

Is it appropriate for a school board to take a position on an upcoming ballot item? Is it legal? Absolutely. Iowa Code section 68A.505 allows a governing body to express an opinion on a ballot issue through the passage of a resolution or proclamation. The Board's resolution has been reviewed by the district's attorney as well as a staffer at the Iowa Campaign and Ethics Disclosure Board. Both have found it to be within the parameters of the law.

I'm pleased that the School Board has taken this step to eliminate public confusion as the September dissolution election approaches. I encourage all of the district's citizens to read the Board's resolution and consider the ways that you, your family, and your community would be affected if the Gladbrook-Reinbeck Community School District didn't exist. Finally, I encourage all eligible voters, regardless of your opinion on the matter, to make your voice heard by exercising your right to vote on September 12.

Gladbrook-Reinbeck Superintendent David Hill invites you to join the conversation by leaving comments on his blog at rebelsupt.blogspot.com and/or following him on Twitter at @DavidRobertHill.

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