Hours after the Iowa Board of Education meeting in Des Moines, the Farragut School Board met for what may be the last time on Nov. 18 to talk to members of the community about the Iowa State Board of Education’s decision to dissolve the school district.

Hours after the Iowa Board of Education meeting in Des Moines, the Farragut School Board met for what may be the last time on Nov. 18 to talk to members of the community about the Iowa State Board of Education’s decision to dissolve the school district.


While the decision itself came as no real surprise to the crowd gathered, and had in fact been a looming possibility for the past few years, the district’s patrons had many questions for the board.
In a surprising departure from the norm, the Iowa Board of Education not only voted to dissolve the school district, but also decreed that the Green Hills  Area Education Agency (AEA) would take immediate control of operations of the district.


According to Superintendent Tom Hinrichs, this is the first time that the dissolution of an Iowa school was accompanied by AEA receivership, and the move leaves not only the district but also the Green Hills AEA with questions about just what that kind of operation looks like.  


Hinrichs and members of the school board were open in admitting that they did not know the answers to many of the audience’s questions about how the district decisions would be made, or when.


They did make it clear that the school would operate as usual for the rest of the year, and that people did not need to rush into decisions thinking the school was closing immediately.


The board did also provide a timeline they were given, showing:
•  that the district was in Green Hills AEA receivorship as of Nov. 18;
• that the Iowa Department of Education would draw lines dividing the district up among its contiguous neigbbors sometime between Nov. 18 and March of 2016;
• that final financial arrangements would be taken care of before June 30, 2016, and
• that June 30, 2016 would be the date of final dissolution.


School board President Jenny Varellas stated that she believed representatives of the AEA would be setting up a meeting of some kind soon to help answer the public’s questions.


In the meantime, Hamburg School District is holding a public forum on Nov. 24 at 6:30 p.m. to talk about this decision, and how it will affect the Hamburg School District.


Watch the print version of the Hamburg Reporter for more in-depth coverage of the public forum and concerns expressed by the community, as well as print and online continuing coverage as the transition unfolds.