Districts considering joint school | NevadaAppeal.com

Districts considering joint school

Teri Vance

A new arrangement is being considered by the neighboring school districts of Carson City and Douglas which could bring students from each county to the same school.

“It would probably take some legislative tweaking to make it clean,” said Carson City School Board Trustee John McKenna. “But it’s definitely doable.”

McKenna said the idea of building a school that would house students from both districts has been discussed for about five years, but the opportunity to realize those plans has just come up.

A plot of land near the county line is being considered for redevelopment and Douglas County School Board Trustee Don Forrester said now is the time to secure the land for a new school.

He said the school district has already submitted an application to the Bureau of Land Management and the idea of building a school was discussed at the Douglas County commissioners’ meeting last week.

“If you try to put a high school in a residential area, people go crazy,” he said. “You have to put a high school in an area early.”

Forrester said the joint-district high school could solve overcrowding problems and help out the budget.

“It makes sense,” he said. “The Legislature has asked us to get creative to save money.”

McKenna said one obstacle raised in the past is that teachers from different districts teach in different ways and would not be able to teach in the same school.

However, he said the situation has changed. The state has been divided into districts with Carson City and Douglas County in the same region.

Each region will now be trained together so that standards and methods do not vary from district to district.

Another possible problem McKenna said would be the distribution of tax money.

Again, he said there is a solution.

“It could be divided on a per-student basis,” he said. “If 40 percent of the students are from Carson City, 40 percent of the funding should come from Carson City.”

The only real problem left, he said, is: “If they build it, will they come?”

McKenna said the growth rate in Carson City has flattened out and is actually decreasing in Douglas County.

“It would be nice to set the land aside. That’s very prudent,” he said. “I doubt it (building a school) happens in my lifetime.”