CLARK COUNTY — The proposed West Clark Community Schools separation is one step closer to becoming a reality with the recent state approval of two proposed budgets.

The Indiana Department of Local Government Finance approved the budgets for the two proposed districts: Silver Creek School Corp. and Borden/Henryville School Corp., according to West Clark Board President Doug Coffman and board member Brian Guernsey.

“That’s the first hurdle and we’re pretty excited about that,” Coffman said. “It’s like anything else, you have to cross the first hurdle to finish the race. We still have a long way to go.”

The separation plan now goes to the Indiana Department of Education where, if approved, it would be given back to West Clark to be put to a vote by local constituents.

Guernsey said he was not surprised the plan passed this first step.

“I thought they would approve it, because we ran the numbers and did a lot of homework on this and thought the two new corporations could survive [on their own] no problem,” Guernsey said.

Guernsey said he hopes to get an approval on the reorganization plan from the department of education by the end of this year with the local constituents voting whether to finalize the separation in the May election.

The first of its kind in the state, the separation was first approved by the West Clark school board in November 2017, after the voters turned down a proposed referendum for $95 million. The official reorganization plan took a nearly a year to create and was submitted to the department of education in October 2018.

Coffman said this lengthy process has him wanting closure at this point.

“We’re ready to get it over with,” he said, adding that the district already has made plans for how the proposed new districts would run. “[We’re] ready to get it implemented and move on.”

If all the steps are passed along the way and voters approve the separation, the district would split into two districts on July 1, 2020, according to the reorganization timeline.

West Clark Interim Superintendent Clemen Perez-Lloyd referred questions about the DLGF approval to the board.

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