West Clark school board member discusses possible district divide

West Clark could divide into two school districts if voters approve

BORDEN, Ind. (WAVE) - West Clark could soon become Indiana's first school district to get a divorce.

The Indiana State Board of Education approved West Clark’s plan to break apart Wednesday after the plan sat in limbo for two years. However, the measure needs to be passed by voters through a special election, a petition or by putting the split on the ballot in May.

Myra Powell, a West Clark school board member and 17-year school principal, said the split has been a long time coming.

"It has been going on for years," Powell said.

Ultimately, if voters approve of the break-up, there would be two districts created within the West Clark footprint. Borden-Henryville would become its own district, and Silver Creek would become its own district in Sellersburg.

"They're probably leaning more toward the petition drive, just to give us more time to plan for a seamless transition should the public approve it," Powell said.

The school board will discuss the next steps at future meetings and developing a checklist of what to do if a split is approved. It will also discuss how to move forward as one district if a divide doesn’t happen.

Powell said regardless of what voters decide, the board’s focus will be doing what is best for students.

"Within our community, there’s a difference of opinion, and there’s going to be,” Powell said. “But I think, bottom line, every single person wants what is best for the students, there’s just sometimes a difference of opinion on what that is.”

If voters approve the district divorce the two new districts would be created July 1, 2020, in time for the 2020-2021 school year.

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