Shared Iron Range high school plan falling apart

Iron Range newsA major effort to build a shared high school for three Iron Range school districts is on the ropes after two of the three affected community school boards backed out of the plan in separate votes last night. Virginia and Eveleth-Gilbert school boards voted to end their involvement in the co-location of a new school in Mountain Iron Monday evening. The Mountain Iron-Buhl District had already voted to move ahead with the plan.

From WDIO:

The agreement would have furthered a plan to open a more than $100 million shared school near Merritt Elementary in Mt. Iron. Seventh through 12th graders from all three districts would learn under the same roof. According to Virginia School Board Member Bill Hafdahl, the agreement also would have turned a the committee devoted to the new school, into a board. He said that would have allowed the group more freedom to make decisions without having to go through the districts’ school boards.

Hundreds of teachers, students and community members packed the bleachers in the Virginia High School gym to urge board members to vote down the agreement. Nearly 30 people stepped up to the microphone to speak, and every person encouraged board members to cast a no vote.

This development all but kills the rather unusual idea of locating three separate student bodies in one shared school (for instance, this idea actually had Virginia, E-G and MIB each maintaining their own mascots and sports teams). But Hafdahl, quoted above, says this might now shift the conversation toward consolidation in the future.

The truth is, that was always where this was headed, anyway.

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