Clear Lake Councilman Proposes Joining Becker District, District 742 Responds
ST. CLOUD - The St. Cloud area school district is responding to a request by a Clear Lake councilman for residents to be able to transfer over to the Becker District.
District 742 released the statement in opposition to a request by Councilman Dale Powers to the Becker School Board: that they consider a petition to allow Clear Lake residents to join their district.
Powers says residents have concerns with class sizes and the possibility of a new Tech High School being further away.
"People move to a small city like Clear Lake so they can send their kids to a small school: a smaller elementary and a smaller high school. They don't move to a town of 545 just so they can send their kids to Tech."
District 742 Superintendent Willie Jett says Clear Lake residents are a valued part of their District and that Clearview Elementary served 536 students last year. It's also home to the District's Spanish immersion program.
Clearview also employs 26 classroom teachers and additional support staff. Jett adds that concerns over a proposed new Tech High School causing Clear Lake students longer bus rides is overstated.
"According to transportation supervisor Scott Dahlin, the bus route would add no more than three miles to students riding from the Clear Lake area," Jett said in a press release.
Powers says the drive to Tech is already 13 miles away and that residents feel their voices aren't being heard by the district.
According to previous city council minutes, Powers met with board member Bruce Hentges to discuss the possibility of building a new school in town. He also discussed the possibility of the District changing the proposed site for the school.
Becker school board minutes for Monday night say the annexation of territory from one district to another isn't allowed under state law. The process would require all Districts involved to agree.
"The annexation is unlikely to occur because neither the Saint Cloud District 742 School Board nor the legislators representing Saint Cloud are likely support the loss of tax base from District 742."
However, since the annexation would benefit the Becker School District, they will likely support the idea.
Powers says he understands that a process of leaving District 742 would be difficult. He says the next step will likely be a public meeting being held this fall for residents to voice their thoughts on the proposal.