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Here’s where things stand for the proposed Alpine School District split

The headquarters of the Alpine School District in American Fork, Utah, Dec. 12, 2022.
Curtis Booker
The headquarters of the Alpine School District in American Fork, Utah, Dec. 12, 2022.

The Alpine School District Board of Education is waiting to hear if the Utah County Clerk will certify its district split proposal. The clerk’s certification would allow the board to move forward with a 45-day public comment period before voting on whether to put the issue on the November ballot.

The proposal, if approved by voters, would split the district in two. The possibility of a three-way district split isn’t off the table, however, as it's something several Utah County cities are exploring together.

Originally, the board wanted to put two options on the ballot, but the county clerk said they could only choose one. The board was selecting proposals from six that were created by Florida-based consulting firm MGT.

During their May 14 meeting, the board voted 4-3 to proceed with the two-district option. Those against the proposal said they wanted to follow what the cities wanted, which would in effect split the district into thirds.

In late April, the northern Utah County cities of Lehi, Cedar Hills, Highland, Alpine, American Fork and Draper signed an interlocal agreement to pursue creating their own school district.

Eagle Mountain, Saratoga Springs and Fairfield met and signed their own, similar interlocal agreement. Cedar Fort Mayor Wyatt Cook was at the meeting virtually to show his support of the collaboration. The cities will hold a joint city council meeting on May 21 where they will have a presentation on a “feasibility study for the creation of a new school district, prepared by LRB public Finance Advisors.”

The two interlocal agreements leave out Pleasant Grove, Orem, Lindon and Vineyard. Those four cities held a joint discussion on May 7, but didn’t take any action. If the district split into thirds this way, it would match the fourth option proposed by the consulting firm.

The proposal the Alpine board landed on would create an east district with Orem, Alpine, Vineyard, Cedar Hills, Lindon, Highland, Pleasant Grove, American Fork, Lehi and Draper. The west district would include Cedar Fort, Eagle Mountain, Fairfield and Saratoga Springs.

If that option is certified, the board will open a 45-day public comment window. District spokesperson Rich Stowell said the board anticipates holding public hearings on June 11 and June 25.

“The goal is to get as much public input as possible,” Stowell said.

After the comment period closes, Stowell said the board would likely reconvene in mid-July to decide if they want to put the proposal on the ballot, which would require going back to the county clerk. At that point the board couldn’t choose to put a different option on the ballot.

“It’s still the district’s position that staying as a single, consolidated district is in the best interests of students. We’re doing that well,” Stowell said.

Martha is KUER’s education reporter.
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