School consolidation at the regional office of education level will happen and just how much input each county has for that region will be in their hands, very soon.
According to Hamilton-Jefferson Regional Office of Education Superintendent Ron Daniels, a vote at Monday’s Jefferson County Board meeting could lead to consolidation with ROE #13, which consists of Washington, Clinton and Marion counties.
State legislation that goes into effect in July 2015 mandates that the number of regional offices decrease from 44 to 35.
No ROEs will be allowed to have a population of less than 61,000, and currently Jefferson, Washington and Clinton counties come in below that, so they need to join another region.
The consolidation can be voluntary and agreed upon by those counties, or the state can step in and decide if needed. Daniels says Hamilton County will join with ROE #20, so now Jefferson County has been in talks with many different scenarios.
One option was to join Franklin and Williamson counties as they already share a special education coop, but merging with ROE #13 is the plan.
Washington, Clinton and Marion county board’s must also approve the new regional office at their next meetings.
Washington County Board Chairman, David Meier, says they may consider the consolidation at their June meeting.