A unanimous decision on Monday by Williams County Public School District 8 to give District 1 $3 million has called for a special meeting.
A previous meeting between Williston Public School District 1 and District 8 set a motion for no more open enrollment in District 1’s schools due to overpopulation, forcing all District 8 students to find a school elsewhere.
“As you know we’re overcrowded, and we need to find creative means and a creative way to add 400 seats to our high school,” said Jeff Thake, District 1 Superintendent.
“What we’d asked District 8 before we made this decision is if they were willing to help us to contribute to an expansion project of the high school so that we can take the high school from a 1,200 seat high school to a 1,600 seat high school,” said Joanna Baltes, District 1 President.
After a few weeks of back and forth discussion, on Monday, Nov. 4, District 8 Board Members agreed unanimously to give $3 million to help expand Williston High School, but this is just a short term solution for an evolving problem.
“There’s a lot of additional issues that we need to work out, including the tuition issue that came up. Our board feels very strongly that if we’re going to continue taking out-of-district students then the tuition dollars need to come along with those students as well to help with some of those operational costs that we have at the high school’s,” Baltes said.
There are still plans to be made in the future, but Baltes feels this is a step in the right direction.
“I think, it’s definitely a step in the right direction. I know not everyone’s happy about it, but if we have the commitment and we’re actually able to move forward with construction I think that our board may be comfortable with coming up with that short term solution” Baltes said.
District 1 and District 8 are set to meet again next week. No further details have been provided.