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updated: 3/28/2012 1:32 PM

Dist. 26, Dist. 3 move forward with consolidation study plans

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Leaders in Cary Elementary District 26 and Fox River Grove Elementary District 3 say they will not compromise quality service for a smaller price tag when determining if consolidation is feasible for both districts.

Superintendents from both districts had planned to present potential education consultants to their respective school boards in March in hopes of completing the study before June 30 to take advantage of a reimbursement from the state for as much as half the cost.

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But District 26 board President Christopher Spoerl said there were issues in finding an appropriate consultant.

"What the administrators ran into was that the available consultants who could do it before June 30 couldn't present a lot of credentials," Spoerl said. "The consensus of the board was that we don't want to get the wrong consultant just to qualify for the reimbursement."

Administrators estimated the study would cost $11,500. The state would reimburse up to half the cost if completed before the end of June.

Pat Hughes, school board President in District 3, said while the district is not looking to consolidate the study will provide answers for the two districts that both feed into Cary-Grove High School.

"At this stage we don't know the whys and the why nots," Hughes said. "That's why we want to do a consolidation study to understand the facts and determine what is best for our kids and education."

Enrollment declines are projected through 2015 in both districts.

Classrooms in District 26 continue to become increasingly overcrowded due to staffing limitations even as enrollment drops. In District 3, classrooms are getting smaller.

Both Spoerl and Hughes said administrators are expected to present potential consultants at a board meeting in April.

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