New Kadoka Area School District voted into existence

A majority of voters in each current taxable district needed to give their approval for the plan to proceed. The special election was on Tuesday, October 17.

In Midland, voters cast 131 votes in favor of the plan and 50 against it. There are 271 registered voters in the Haakon County portion of the Midland School District, and 28 registered voters in the Jackson County portion of Midland School District, thus totalling 299. This translates to a 60 percent voter turn-out.

Voters in the Kadoka School District approved the plan 251-58. There are 1,962 registered voters in the Kadoka School District. This translates to a 16 percent voter turn-out.

The two school districts began discussing reorganization plans earlier this year. A committee of 14 people representing both districts spent the spring and summer structuring the reorganization plan.

Midland sought South Dakota Legislative approval last spring to contract with Kadoka to provide high school courses for its students. The legislature gave the district one year to mutually work out a reorganization plan.

A top priority of the Midland School District was to keep its elementary school open. Midland's enrollment had dropped to 52 students in grades K-12 in 2005. Of 18 freshmen-through-seniors who would have gone to the Kadoka High School under the Midland High School contract, 12 opted to open-enroll in another high school.

Now that the reorganization plan has been approved, voters must soon return to the polls to elect a new school board. As outlined in the reorganization plan, seven board members will be elected "at-large". According to Superintendent Mary Austad, the election will most likely take place in early January 2007. Once the board members are elected, the new board will begin meeting to develop policies and procedures for the Kadoka Area School District. The existing board members will continue serving their respective districts until June 30, 2007.

Minor boundary changes into or out of the new school district may be applied for at any time, and will be acted upon by the Kadoka Area School District School Board. All such requests will be reviewed on an individual basis, and any petitioner may appeal that decision to the circuit court.

"This is a time of change for the Kadoka and Midland School Districts," said Supt. Austad. "The formation of the new Kadoka Area School District will be exciting, but will also require hard work and diligence. Board members will need to be elected as early as possible so they can begin the task of molding the new district into a strong and successful district for the students, staff and communities we serve."