February 10, 2016

Districts conduct survey for community feelings on consolidation

By Tim Barnum|Staff writer
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TWINING, AuGRES — Starting this week, the Arenac Eastern (AE) and AuGres-Sims (AGS) school districts will learn exactly how the communities represented by the districts feel about consolidation.

“Both districts have sent out surveys to everyone in the district,” said AE Superintendent Rocky Aldrich, adding the mailers not only went to parents of students, but all members of the communities. “I’m reading them as they come in.”

According to AGS Superintendent Gary Marchel, the surveys were straightforward; asking recipients to answer yes or no to the question of whether or not they are in favor of consolidation, tell what district they live in and also comment in a designated section of the survey if they wish.

“If there’s an interest in both communities, then we’ll move forward,” Marchel said. “You have to have both.”

“If one district wants to pursue it and the other doesn’t, than it’s a dead issue,” Aldrich added.

Aldrich says AE sent out the surveys, which are due back on March 31, on March 24, while Marchel says AGs mailed the surveys out on March 18.

Both superintendents said, also, that late surveys could be counted if neither choice is selected overwhelmingly.

Currently, Marchel says in the case of AGS, no clear-cut answer, yes or no, seems to be prevailing via landslide over the other. However, he added no official counting has been done.

“We haven’t done tallies or anything yet,” he said. “There’s really no clear cut thing without tallying the numbers.”

“I’m sure we’ll get the results out just as soon as we can,” Aldrich added.

Marchel says after the results are tallied, they will be turned over to a committee consisting of himself and Aldrich; two members from each district’s board of education; and two community members.

Check arenacindependent.com for the survey results.

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