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State Board Rejects Lead Hill and Ozark Mountain Voluntary Annexation

On Monday, March 12, the State Board of Education denied a petition from Lead Hill and Ozark Mountain School Districts for voluntary annexation.  The two school districts requested that the annexation become effective on July 1, 2012 for the upcoming 2012-2013 school year.

The Lead Hill School Districtís student population has been slowly declining over the last three years. At the beginning of the current school year, Lead Hill had 309 students.  Recognizing that state mandated consolidation could occur in the near future, the Lead Hill Board was proactive and pursued a merger.  The petition for voluntary annexation represented the culmination of months of extensive review by both districts resulting in a proposal that they believed would have created a new Ozark Mountain School District that would have been in the best interest of all students.

The Lead Hill community was in full support of the annexation.  Senator Johnny Key spoke in favor of the annexation, emphasizing the will of the people.  Bill Abernathy, Executive Director of the Arkansas Rural Education Association also spoke in favor of the voluntary annexation. 

The proposal was rejected in a 5-4 vote.  Board Members Vicki Saviers, Joe Black, Brenda Gullett, and Jim Cooper voted yes.  Sam Ledbetter, Alice Mahony, and Mireya Reith voted no, and Toyce Newton abstained.  Dr. Mays voted to break the tie, and he voted to reject the proposal.


   

 

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