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The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

Committee Sends School Merger Question to Voters

Let the voters decide. That's the unanimous decision of a local committee that's pushing for a merger of the AC Central and PORTA school districts.

The committee says a consolidation would save taxpayer money and increase class choices for students. The proposed merger would send all AC Central high school students to PORTA High School in Petersburg. It would also shut down AC Central's Chandlerville Elementary School.

But in order to get the consolidation question on the ballot, the committee must collect 100 signatures--50 people in each district--plus get both the state and regional superintendents on board.

Committee co-chair Allen Grosboll said finding that kind of support shouldn't be an issue.

"Consolidation will save $1 million in efficiencies," Grosboll said. "It will allows us to lower the property taxes of people in Ashland and Chandlerville by 25 percent, and it will allow us to expand economic opportunities for all of our students."

This would not be the first merger in the area. The PORTA school district was formed from the consolidation of several communities back in the 1960s, and AC Central was formed back in the 1980s.

PORTA and AC Central have already merged high school sports programs. Those were made a co-op two years ago.

If the committee gets approval, the question of whether to merge the two districts will be on the ballot in March. If it passes, the merger would take place in 2015.

 
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