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EACS board to hear study on areas breaking away from the district

– The East Allen County Schools board will soon hear a final report on a study it commissioned to examine the effects of attendance areas splitting from the district.

The board hired Robert Boyd, an associate professor at Indiana State University, to analyze state Department of Education data on the current makeup of the district.

The study and Boyd's contract were approved in August, and Boyd recently submitted a preliminary report to the board.

Board members will send back questions and requests that will be compiled into a final public presentation likely to occur next month.

Board member Terry Jo Lightfoot said during Tuesday's school board meeting she would like to see a more in-depth analysis of how money for special education, English as a second language and other areas would be affected if one area or another would break away from the district.

John Clendenen, Leo-Cedarville Town Council president, attended Tuesday's board meeting to see when the report will be available to the public. The town is working with a consultant for strategic planning for the future.

Clendenen said the report could be a useful tool for future planning of the area.

Lightfoot said after Tuesday's meeting the study will simply be for informational purposes, and it's possible the board will take no action on the results. She said the idea for the study came from legislation proposed last year dealing with de-annexation of areas within school districts.

"We were just preparing ourselves to deal with it," she said.

After the board approved a redesign plan in 2010 to consolidate and reconfigure the district, New Haven Mayor Terry McDonald proposed that New Haven secede from East Allen. No moves or related public discussions have occurred since then by New Haven or any other area to break away from the district.

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