Local I.S.D.’s Could Merge

Two Intermediate School Districts in Northern Michigan are on the brink of merging — but the combination would bring a hefty tax hike.

After sharing resources for years, the Mason-Lake I.S.D. and the Oceana I.S.D. want to combine.

Last night, the Mason-Lake I.S.D. school board voted to absorb its partner to the south.

This, after the Oceana school board voted to disorganize at a meeting on Tuesday.

The Oceana I.S.D. says the move will help expand vocational school opportunities for its students.

But for people in the county — it would nearly double the taxes they pay for local schools.

People against the merge say it's moving money north.

But causing the most commotion — is how the decision was made.

The school board voted unanimously for the merge, without a public vote.

People against the merge say they should have considered the public's input.

But the board says this decision — if approved by the state — will prove to be a beneficial one, despite the tax increase.

By July first, the Department of Education will make the final decision on the merge.

9&10's Evan Dean spoke to people on both sides today, he has the story.