Bluffs School Board Nixes Committee of 10, Winchester-Bluffs Consolidation Talks Done

By Benjamin Cox on July 14, 2022 at 11:25am

The consolidation of Bluffs and Winchester School District has hit a snag again.

The Bluffs School Board declined to form the Committee of 10, which would have been the next step in consolidation of the two districts. The committee would have been responsible for overseeing the process of consolidation, including establishing a property tax rate for a new district that would be placed on the ballot for voters to decide, and determining what the district’s assets like buildings would be used, among other responsibilities. A previous attempt to form the Committee of 10 failed last June.

Input sessions for the community also were sparsely attended last Spring.

Superintendent of both districts Kevin Blankenship told the Journal Courier that the Bluffs School Board isn’t wanting to continue to looking at consolidation. Both districts currently face questions on renovating heavily aged school buildings and declining school populations.

The Journal Courier reports that a most recent survey in both school districts found that both communities favor consolidation. A feasibility study conducted last year by Midwest School Consultants also favored consolidation. Talks about consolidating the two districts have stopped and started multiple times since the 1990s. The last attempt to consolidate the schools failed in 2008.