South Jordan City will likely not be asking voters to decide whether to split from Jordan school district this November. The five-member council has decided instead to join an agreement with the Jordan School Board.
South Jordan City officials and many residents are concerned that the Jordan School District isn’t keeping pace with the city’s growth—and in the process they say much-needed schools and other facilities aren’t getting built. Earlier this summer, the city commissioned a study by independent consulting firm Lewis, Young, Robertson & Burningham to determine if it were feasible for South Jordan to create its own district. The results of the study, which were unveiled to members of the council on Wednesday showed a split would likely result in higher taxes for South Jordan residents. South Jordan Mayor Dave Alvord has opposed the split all along. He says he’s happy the council decided to instead join an agreement with the school district and surrounding cities to come up with a plan.
“It brings us to the table and what that can do is a couple of things,” Alvord says. “It can keep us from wanting to split in the future because we think we’ll have our needs paid more attention to and it also helps represent our constituents better.”
As part of the agreement, the Jordan School District agrees to provide a 5-year-plan for all schools in the district and more-closely involve the mayors of cities in the district in those plans.
Kayleen Whitelock is a member of the Jordan School Board.
“It will mean that we’ll all know where the district is going and we’ll be able to give input and we’ll be able to work together on projects, like schools, where they should go and I’m hopeful that it will also mean that we’ll have mixed use of our buildings perhaps,” Whitelock says.
Not all who were present favored Wednesday’s decision. Several members of the public complained the agreement was another way to stall a decision on the future of South Jordan Schools. Others expressed distrust that the school district would be responsive to residents.
The South Jordan City Council will likely confirm the decision to join the agreement at its next scheduled meeting.