Community Meeting Held to Discuss Consolidation

JANUARY 15, 2006 - Posted at 8:00 p.m. CST



CARAWAY, AR -- Five communities come together to discuss the future of three school districts in the area.

Members of theBuffalo Island area are discussing the possible voluntary consolidation of their junior and senior high students into one group.  This would combine upper level students of three school districts -- Buffalo Island Central, Manilla, and Riverside.


“This is more or less a brain storming session to try and see if there's any interest in maybe working together as communities on Buffalo Island,” said Kenny Qualls, a member of the community who planned the meeting.


Community members hope that by taking the initiative now before the state forces the issue the communities can come up with a plan that will be beneficial to them all in the future.


“I think the high school would be a great benefit to consolidate schools it would offer more and it's necessary,” said Kay Hultquist.


Some of these communities have been consolidated before.  Bt those were just temporary fixes to a much larger problem.


“I would like to see in the future a large rural school that would provide the best education available to students who live in this rural area,” said Qualls.


“I think they were very positive.  I think we heard some pros and cons and all of them were well thought and it was a good meeting,” said Hultquist.     


“I think the openness in the minds of the people in the communities want the best for our children,” said Blankenship.  


The three school boards will have to meet and see how much interest there is for voluntary consolidation.