School Board says no to detachment request

Unanimous vote denies petition for properties to be moved into Cedarburg district
By 
JOE POIRIER
Ozaukee Press Staff

The Grafton School Board on Monday unanimously voted to deny a petition to detach an eight-property territory that would alter school district boundaries along Pleasant Valley Road.

Town of Cedarburg resident Chad Holland — who lives on Pleasant Valley Road, which is on the border of the district’s boundary — made a request to the board to separate his property and seven other neighboring houses. The properties north of his house are in the Cedarburg School District. 

Holland’s children attend Cedarburg schools through open enrollment, but they are unable to be bused to school because their property is in the Grafton School District.

“We live in an odd block where just the southeast corner of the road belongs to Grafton. Everyone on my road lives in the Town of Cedarburg, and all of their kids go to Cedarburg schools,” Holland said, noting the seven other property owners signed the petition. 

“In the spirit of community, we have a broken and split-up community. We are experiencing some personal discomforts (because of busing).”

Business Services Director Topher Adams said that detaching the properties would have a negative impact on the district’s revenue because it would potentially decrease student membership. 

“That would result in reduced resources because we have fixed costs that can’t be reduced with declining enrollment. That will cause us to stretch the available resources thinner and thinner,” Adams said.

“We as the administration don’t feel the remedy would be to detach the properties and give them to another school district.”

Adams said a number of Grafton alumni have lived on the properties in question and the homes could have more students in the future. There are currently no Grafton students living on the other seven properties. 

School Board member John Scolman, who lives near the border, initially supported detaching the territory but ultimately voted against it.

“I think we should grant this,” Scolman said. “It’s weird when you live two houses down. When my kids were younger, they would play with kids two or three houses down, and they’re going to different schools.”

School Board member Jerry Rossi said he understood Scolman’s reasoning, but said, “We’re with this School Board, though.”

School Board President Paul Lorge said that granting the request would set a precedent for similar properties that border other area school districts.

“My own concern would be exactly the condition that you cite because this condition could exist in many cases throughout the district,” Lorge said.

“I’m not sure if it would be prudent for us or Cedarburg to continue entertaining petitions on a home-by-home basis.”

Supt. Jeff Nelson recommended Holland request to purchase a bus seat from the Cedarburg School District to accommodate his children. Holland said he has attempted purchasing seats in the past, but they were not granted.

“At the end of the day, it seems to me your beef is with the Cedarburg School District,” Lorge told Holland.

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