Decatur school board members, from left, Tasha White, Garrett Goebel, Lewis Jones, Annie Caiola, Superintendent David Dude and Bernadette Seals will conduct a rare joint meeting with their city commission counterparts Nov. 9 regarding annexation. Courtesy of City Schools of Decatur.

Decatur commission, school board holding rare joint meeting Thursday

Decatur’s city commission and school board are holding a rare joint meeting 7 p.m. Nov. 9, City Schools Decatur’s Central Office at Beacon Hill (first floor meeting room) at 125 Electric Ave. The only agenda item listed is “annexation policy discussion,” with no further information provided.

City Manager Peggy Merriss reiterated this weekthe city doesn’t have an updated annexation map. She has stated previously that producing such a map could go into 2018. Decatur’s only definitive annexation plan is for assimilating the 77-acre United Methodist Children’s home property into the city. No date has been determined, or whether to achieve annexation through petition or the general assembly.

The school system has long been wary of annexation and its potential for adding more students to an already overburdened district. Decatur’s K-12 enrollment has more than doubled in the last decade, and the district currently has 30 modular units augmenting its permanent classrooms.

The school board and commissioners have met together only three times in the last two years, the most recent 13 months ago.

In that meeting, Superintendent David Dude produced a first draft of an “annexation metrics” document. In theory, this could project an approximate population increase, and student population increase, for specific areas targeted for annexation.

But Dude said Wednesday the Nov. 9 session will not offer an update of that document, but is essentially an opportunity for the board to “check back in” with their city counterparts.

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