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Two school districts one step closer to merger

If a majority of voters from both school districts approve the reorganization, the new school district will be called Van Buren Community School District. (Louis FInley/KTVO)

The Van Buren and Harmony School Districts are one step closer to merging.

After deliberation, The Great Prairie AE Board of Directors approved the reorganization petition.

The biggest objection came from the boundary line. Half of the over 80 objections to the redistricting came from the town of Croton.

Accusations were thrown that a worker from a neighboring school district canvassed the area in an effort to "poach" students from the district.

"Ultimately at the end of the day there might be some hard feeling because of some closures or things like that," said Harmony School Board President Dan Smith.

The board of directors rejection to changing the boundary line.

"Finances are what drives student achievement, and what we're trying to do is help kids," said Van Buren School Board President Andrew Lydolph.

The merger will go up for a vote in February to the residents in both school districts.

If a majority of voters from both school districts approve the reorganization, the new school district will be called Van Buren Community School District.

The completed merger is expected in July 2017.

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