On the Dissolution of the Palmyra-Eagle School District, Reason Carries the Day

Earlier today, a School District Boundary Appeal Board (Wis. Stat. §15.375) voted by a margin of 6-1 against the dissolution of the Palmyra-Eagle School District. The possible dissolution of that school district loomed for many months. Dissolving that district would have led to a significant reallocation of students, faculty, resources, and obligations to Whitewater or other nearby communities.

Dissolution was always a bad idea – bad for many students of Palmyra-Eagle, bad for Whitewater and other districts, and bad as a Wisconsin precedent. I’ve written about dissolution before – including in opposition to a presumptuous, truly ill-conceived plan to split the Palmyra-Eagle District between the Whitewater and Mukwonago School Districts. (As the work of the School District Boundary Appeal Board progressed, Whitewater sensibly retreated from her earlier petition to the Wisconsin Legislature insisting on dividing the Palmyra-Eagle District between Whitewater and Mukwonago.)

See Educational (Among Other) Uncertainties in Rural Communities, School Board, 10.28.19: 3 Points, and Dissolving a School District.

There is much yet to write about the Whitewater Unified School District, as there are significant, debilitating challenges to be addressed.

For now, it is reassuring to know that on Thursday, 1.9.2020, in one small part of the world very near Whitewater, reason carried the day.

3 comments for “On the Dissolution of the Palmyra-Eagle School District, Reason Carries the Day

  1. J
    01/09/2020 at 6:30 PM

    We agree about a lot of things, disagree about some others, but this is 100% right. Dissolving P-E was a bad idea that received too, too much consideration. What’s telling is that there were very few educators who ever thought dissolution was a good option. There is also no question that it would have left Whitewater/districts other than Mukwonago worse off overall.

  2. Attendee
    01/10/2020 at 8:39 AM

    Did you expect the vote to go this way?

      01/10/2020 at 9:30 AM

      Yes, I did. This was the likely outcome after document collection and public hearings (with deadlines of 11.7, 11.14, 11.21, 12.5, 12.12, 1.3, 1.9). The earlier commenter, J, is right that the collective assessment of educators was sure to be against dissolution (and as surely against an unwise plan simply to split the district between Whitewater and Mukwonago).

      Yesterday was a good day for Palmyra-Eagle and for Whitewater.