Orem considers splitting from Alpine School District

Jul 13, 2022, 12:24 PM | Updated: Jul 26, 2022, 3:44 pm

OREM, Utah – A study showing whether Orem School District could be a possible financially, educationally, and community sound.

The comprehensive feasibility study found if the city of Orem did split from the Alpine School District, it would district would be financially viable and sustainable as it looked at a variety of scenarios and factors. 

One of the brains behind the study is Paul McCarty, who serves as a managing principal of Discovery Education Consultants. He said for this study, they also looked at the educational impacts, including what the impact on students would be as well as teachers.

In Orem, seven of the nine Title I schools show a decline in test scores and student achievement. 

To help raise the test scores, they then looked at the quality of teaching and class sizes.

“For example, at Northridge Elementary, it was announced in March that the class size would exceed 30, and in some classes, it’s 34 or 37. The national average hovers around 17 students to a class,” McCarty said.

Right now, there’s a proposed bond that will impact taxpayers going forward whether the school district splits or not.

The leading case they looked at included no split and no bond.

Under a scenario where there is a split, Orem taxpayers would pay higher taxes per household which rounds out to around 10% per household.

In addition, there’s currently a bond proposed that would increase property taxes by about the same amount.

“The decision is you have to decide whether you want to stay with the current district, pay for that bond, or split and make decisions on your own for a new district,” said Michael Wankier, who also worked on the study and has an accounting background.

Orem Mayor Dave Young said a public meeting will happen Wednesday night where the consultants will give a presentation and allow public questions to come in. From there, two more large public meetings will take place in addition to the city council. 

On Aug. 2, they will meet back with all the information gathered, and the city council will vote on whether to put it on the ballot in November or not.

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Orem considers splitting from Alpine School District