Dwindling numbers trigger mandatory consolidation for Arkansas district

Friday, April 11, 2014

The state Board of Education voted Thursday to consolidate the Stephens School District in southwestern Arkansas with three neighboring districts because of dwindling enrollment.

Enrollment in the Stephens district fell below 350 students for two consecutive school years, triggering mandatory consolidation or annexation with one or more districts under state law. The state panel voted 5-2 to consolidate the Stephens district with the Camden Fairview, Magnolia and Nevada school districts, effective July 1.

The Stephens district had an average daily membership of 334 students in the 2011-12 school year and 344 students in the 2012-13 school year. The district then had until March 1 of this year to notify the board if it had found a partner for voluntary consolidation, but it did not find one.

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