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Should Cache Valley's school districts consolidate?

A map shows Cache County and Logan school districts.

If the Logan City and Cache County school districts were to consolidate, they could save $1 million per year. Despite this, consolidation probably isn’t in Cache Valley’s near future.

Looking at a map of the Logan City and Cache County school districts, I asked people what the boundaries looked like — specifically, what food? The general consensus seemed to be bagels or donuts.

Though not a perfect copy of a glazed ring of fried dough, the boundaries do raise the question: Why the hole? Tim Smith, Public Information Officer at Cache County School District, said it goes back decades.

“To understand school districts in Utah, you have to understand a little bit about the history,” Smith explained.

Smith says before 1908 there were over 20 school districts in Cache Valley, until Utah enforced consolidation. Then two remained, with Logan City surrounded by Cache County.

Heidi Thornley, a parent who was on a committee to consolidate the districts, said this confinement has led to problems for the Logan City School District.

“One of the biggest challenges we have is people who live in Logan are choosing not to send their kids to Logan schools,” Thornley said.

Parents like Thornley say combining the districts could have many benefits. Frank Schofield, superintendent of the Logan City School District, said budget savings are one benefit he is often approached about.

“You're talking about a $200 million budget and only having a savings of approximately $1 million,” he said.

Thornley said equal opportunity for activities is also an issue at Logan High.

“My son was on the football team last year … we've gone from over 100 kids on the football team down to 70,” she said. “Combining the districts would be more of an equal opportunity.”

Buses picking up Logan High students are one example of partnership between the districts.

“We do all of our busing together, we share our adult education services, we do all of that together,” Smith said.

Smith said there could be more partnerships like this in the future, but Thornley said it probably won’t lead to consolidation.

“I honestly don't see it happening in my lifetime. Maybe my kids',” Thornley said.

A long time lover of NPR and radio reporting, Clayre Scott joined UPR in August of 2021 as the producer of the weekly podcast UnDisciplined. She began reporting in 2022 and now enjoys telling stories through sound and getting weekly texts from her family after hearing her on the radio. Along with her work at UPR, Clayre is attending Utah State University to get her degree in Broadcast Journalism, with time on the side to study Political Science and Art History.