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South Jordan city contemplating split from Jordan School District

By Mary Richards | Posted - Feb 25th, 2014 @ 1:08pm

SOUTH JORDAN — South Jordan city leaders are moving forward with the idea of splitting away from the Jordan School District because they want more local control and need more school buildings.

City leaders met with mayors in the 5-year-old Canyons District on Tuesday night and councilman Chuck Newton said those cities started the process of splitting eight years ago for some of the same reasons South Jordan is concerned about now. The meeting gave them a lot of insight about why they split and how it has been since. The Canyons School District serves Cottonwood Heights, Draper, Midvale, Sandy and the town of Alta.

“What was so amazing was in hearing their reasons why they started looking at this eight years ago and made the split five years ago,” Newton said. ”We are encountering the same problems.”

Some South Jordan residents don’t want to see their kids bused to West Jordan just to go to schools with smaller classes. They also want more local control and new school buildings in their area to replace aging buildings and help with growth. Newton added a problem also lies in inflated salaries within the district administration, and the Jordan administration has not been responsive to concerns so far.

“They didn’t get it before, and apparently they are still not getting it,” he said. “Eight years later the (Jordan) district still hasn’t changed. That’s absolutely amazing.”

The city is awaiting any action by the legislature on district-splitting issues.

“I think the best possible outcome is the legislature has to do more than they are doing,” Newton said. “It’s not about funding; it’s about some radical changes.”

Jordan School District currently serves Bluffdale, Herriman, Riverton, South Jordan and West Jordan.

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