Being a taxpayer in Marion and a resident within the Marion Independent School District for 20-plus years, one thing has never made sense to me: that a town the size of Marion has two separate school districts. I have heard and do understand some of the “feelings” about consolidation talks in the past and the “blame game” associated with it.
I also have heard the comments and worry about “loss of identity.” I would ask if those at Kennedy High School identify or feel a loss of identity because the Cedar Rapids district also has to serve Jefferson and/or Washington? None of those arguments make sense and are based on emotion rather than seeing the bigger picture.
Two high schools within one district is not only viable in Marion, but a necessity here. What is not making sense is being in a community this size with two school district administrative tiers, two transportation departments, buses passing one another to get students on the opposite side of each district, two sets of taxes for two districts that are 2 miles apart from one another, and one school district having growth issues while the other has room to accept students, but has probably outlived itself financially.
It is time to finally do what is best for the community, for the taxpayers, and most importantly, for all of the kids within this community and become one district in Marion.