Cost-Benefit Encouraged in Potential Service Sharing Arrangement


The Knox School Board will likely have a chance to discuss the consolidation of services at their next meeting.

The comments come from School Board President Kirk Bennett. He says a conversation with North Judson – San Pierre School Board President Pat Goin brought up the possibility. The three school corporations of Starke County may allow for the possibility of saving money by consolidating certain services. Which services will be shared remains to be seen.

Bennett says help from the Indiana School Board Association could help them identify the greatest benefit from the cost savings.

“At this point, it’s just a matter of looking into it,” says Bennett. “Just seeing: does it make sense? Will it help all the corporations that would choose to maybe participate? What dollar-and-cents benefit can we get?”

As things stand, Bennett says ideas are limited to sharing services. Complete consolidation between Oregon-Davis, Knox, and N.J.-S.P. was not discussed during conversations amongst the School Board Presidents of Starke County.

Oregon-Davis Schools Superintendent Greg Briles has commented to WKVI they are formulating a response to the idea of sharing services.

North Judson – San Pierre is facing significant budget deficits in fiscal years 2015 and 2016 following the defeat of a referendum that would have temporarily increased the property tax levy.

Specifics are expected once each of the School Boards has had a chance to discuss the possibility. Bennett says he has not yet spoken about the possibility to the Knox School Board.

“It’s exploration,” says Bennett. “Does it make sense? It doesn’t mean that we’re doing it, it doesn’t mean that anything will transpire. We have to start with hopefully getting together and talking.”

No timeline for finalizing ideas has been set following the loose conversations.