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Clearfield school district dissolution passes in election

Published: Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013 10:53 a.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013 1:14 p.m. CDT

After being put to a vote, the decision to dissolve Clearfield Community School District was passed. Clearfield District will close June 30, 2014.

“It’s somewhat of a relief that it passed,” said Joe Drake, shared superintendent of Bedford, Clearfield and Mount Ayr. “But, it’s sad at the same time since the school’s closing.”

The dissolution measure passed with a vote of 127 to 77. In order for the measure to pass, it had to have at least 51 percent of the vote.

If the measure hadn’t passed, the process would have started over.

The decision came as the school’s enrollment dropped below a financially allowable level, and not enough money was coming in from the state to keep the school afloat.

This money is called spending authority, and is based on the number of students a school district has enrolled.

It is estimated Clearfield District received allowable growth and miscellaneous money totalling $911,596.

With the unspent budget authority, the maximum amount of money the district can spend is a little more than $1 million.

The district predicted it would spend $1.25 million in the 2013-14 school year, which is $202,040 more than it can afford.

The next step is to decide which districts the building, assets and liabilities will pass to.

“The board will have to decide and push for someone to take the building,” Drake said. “We’re just going to move forward and take the next step.”

Clearfield School Board’s next regularly scheduled meeting is Tuesday, and there is a possiblity the board will discuss where the assets and liabililties will go, as well as the building and equipment and supplies inside.

Clearfield School Board hosted a dissolution hearing in July to get the opinions of the public on the board’s proposal to dissolve. At the regularly scheduled meeting July 16, the board passed the proposal.

Clearfield School Board decided to voluntarily dissolve the school district after the 2013-14 school year. This means the district has control of the dissolution. The alternative was an involuntary dissolution, which meant the state of Iowa would have control.

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