South County Consolidation Talks On Hold While Waverly Searches For New Superintendent

By Benjamin Cox on February 17, 2023 at 8:12am

Two school districts who have long talked about possible consolidation may have to wait a bit longer.

Waverly and Franklin have raised talks about possibly consolidating both of the schools over the last 3 years. The efforts to get a look at what consolidation would look like exploded in a contentious town hall meeting in October of last year when there was talks of possibly ending the Waverly-Franklin sports co-op.

Franklin had approved a feasibility study for consolidation in January 2022. However, a medical emergency occurred with the consulting firm working on the study’s lead analyst caused the whole process to be on hold. Waverly did not fully take up the feasibility study in January of last year until after the contentious fall meeting. Franklin renewed the approval to start the feasibility study again in October 2022.

A new stoppage in the process has now arisen that may further delay the feasibility study and any consolidation talks.

Waverly Superintendent Dr. Andrea Guerrero announced in January that she would be resigning from her position at the end of June to take a job closer to her family in Knoxville, Illinois. Guerrero has not returned comment on an inquiry on the status of the feasibility study or consolidation as of press time.

Franklin Superintendent Jeff Waggener responded via email on Wednesday saying that the Waverly School District has placed the idea on hold because of Dr. Guerrero’s resignation: “We are not sure what their timetable is. Franklin CUSD #1 continues to be in favor of conducting the feasibility study.”

If both district’s adopt the feasibility study, which is paid for by the state, the consulting firm would make a series of recommendations. If the consulting firm recommends consolidation of the district, the process would be a series of votes in which a group of 10 members of both districts would then vote on a recommendation to consolidate the districts. Then, if the Gang of 10 votes in favor of consolidation, the question would then be posed in a ballot referendum for both communities.