DECORAH -- Voters Tuesday overwhelming approved consolidating the Decorah and North Winneshiek school districts.
Votes on reorganizing the districts, a 1 percent sale tax revenue purpose statement and a physical plant and equipment levy were each approved with more than 80 percent of the votes cast. That ranged from 80.24 percent for the PPEL in the North Winneshiek Community School District to 88.67 percent for the revenue purpose statement in Decorah Community Schools.
The consolidation takes the district beyond a long-time sharing agreement. North Winneshiek has been sending its ninth- through 12th-graders to Decorah High School since 2002. Starting this year, the district's seventh- and eighth-graders are going to Decorah for school, as well.
In Decorah, consolidation was approved 621 to 104, the revenue purpose statement was approved 634 to 81 and the PPEL was approved 622 to 93. In North Winneshiek, approvals were 224 to 32 for consolidation, 209 to 45 for the revenue purpose statement and 203 to 50 for the PPEL. The PPEL is for $1.34 per $1,000 of taxable value.
North Winneshiek serves 165 students through sixth grade at its school while Decorah's five schools serve 1,700 students, according to the districts' web sites.
Consolidation is expected to be complete by July 1, 2019. If the vote hadn't passed in either district, North Winneshiek would have eventually closed or dissolved.