A three-district school consolidation issue drew together parents in the Bushnell-Prairie City School District who had a number of concerns about it. They worked hard to ultimately defeat the measure that would have merged the district with Avon and Abingdon. But the effort led them to see the district's strengths and challenges.
The Just Vote No Committee did not just fade away after the April election. Instead, the group decided to provide support for the district. The group changed its name to B-PC Best.
The “Just Vote No” committee formed earlier this year in the Bushnell-Prairie City School District. It was composed of parents opposed to a three-district school consolidation measure on the March ballot that included the district. The measure went down to defeat in two of the three districts.
Committee members said the campaign had a positive impact because it focused more attention on the needs in the B-PC district, particularly in the area of the curriculum.
B-PC Superintendent David Messersmith says the members are becoming more involved with the school district.
Bushnell-Prairie City School Superintendent David Messersmith will retire a year earlier than he wanted.
Other educators around the region are facing similar decisions.
He reconsidered his plans once Governor Pat Quinn proposed a number of changes to state pensions plans including reducing benefits for retirees. Messersmith hopes to “lock-in” his benefits under the current pension rules. He thinks the state will suffer a “brain drain” as other educators come to the same conclusion.
A look back at the top stories and features from the Tri States Public Radio news department from March 2012.
The proposed consolidation of the Abingdon, Avon, and Bushnell-Prairie City School Districts was soundly rejected during the March 20 Illinois primaries. More than 80% of B-PC voters cast ballots against the idea and it was rejected by more than 74% in Abingdon. Only voters in Avon approved it. The week after the election, reporter Jim Lenz took a look at what might be next for those school districts.