School districts - organization. The act creates an alternate process for the dissolution and annexation of a school district. Pursuant to the act, if a school district meets specified criteria, the board of education of the school district (local school board) may seek dissolution and annexation of the school district by convening an organization planning committee (committee) that consists of representation from the local school board of the dissolving school district and the local school boards of the contiguous school districts. The local school board of the dissolving school district must notify the commissioner of education (commissioner) when a committee is formed. The committee must create a proposed plan of organization (plan) that dissolves the convening school district and annexes the territory of the dissolved school district to one or more of the contiguous school districts. The act specifies the issues that the committee must consider in creating the plan.
After adopting the proposed plan, the committee must submit the proposed plan to the commissioner and the local school boards of the affected school districts and provide notice of public hearings on the proposed plan. After holding public hearings, the committee must work with the commissioner to develop and adopt a final plan of organization. Within a set time after the final plan is adopted, the local school board of each affected school district must adopt the final plan by written resolution. If a local school board does not adopt the plan and there are only 2 affected school districts, or if the plan is not approved by at least 2 of the affected school districts, the committee is dissolved. If fewer than all but at least 2 of the affected school districts approve the plan, the committee may continue and prepare a new plan that involves only the school districts of the local school boards that approved the final approved plan.
Following approval of a final plan by the local school boards of all of the affected school districts, the county clerk and recorder for each affected county must file a map and legal description of the annexing school districts with the commissioner. The final plan takes effect on the date specified in the plan, and the final plan must be available for public review upon request. If the dissolved district has a certain level of indebtedness that is not bonded indebtedness, an annexing school district, after the effective date of the annexation and subject to voter approval, may levy a temporary tax of a specified amount on the annexed property to retire the indebtedness.
The act clarifies that, if the dissolving school district has bonded indebtedness existing as of the date of the dissolution and annexation and the annexing school district or school districts do not vote to assume the amount of the bonded indebtedness, the bonded indebtedness continues to be paid by the existing levy against the property of the dissolved school district, collected by the annexing school district or school districts.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)