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Utah Legislature: 2 bills address future school district splits

SALT LAKE CITY — Cleaning up after the division of Jordan School District, two bills under consideration by the Utah Legislature aim to implement guidelines for future district split issues.

SB87, sponsored by Sen. Gene Davis, D-Salt Lake, aims to quash the equalization program that requires four Salt Lake County districts to contribute funds to Jordan School District — which was left underfunded with rapidly increasing enrollment following the district split.

The Senate Education Committee unanimously voted Monday for SB87 to go to rules with a note for the bill to go to interim for further study. (See www.le.state.ut.us)

HB29, sponsored by Rep. Laura Black, D-Sandy, modifies procedures for splitting a district. It requires a primary election in June, therefore increasing the amount of time a new school district has to prepare to launch. The bill passed favorably through the committee last week.

The Jordan District division was official in July 2009, with the east-side Canyons School District splitting from the west side, which remains as Jordan District.

— Amy K. Stewart