Officials in the Murray School District have asked for and will receive specific information concerning school-age children in an area Murray proposes to annex.
The children in the area now are attending Granite District schools. Their membership would automatically transfer to Murray District if the annexation occurs - unless the districts agreed on other arrangements.Murray District has tried to avoid building new schools, while Granite would probably have to close a school if it lost several hundred students to Murray. Last month, Granite threatened to seek consolidation with Murray District if Murray City continues to annex property where Granite operates schools.
During a regular board meeting earlier this week, the Granite Board agreed to provide information to both Murray City and the Murray school board about student numbers and other education factors in the proposed annexation area, south of 53rd South.
In an earlier Murray Board meeting, President George I. Brown suggested that the residents seeking annexation should provide the information. Asking Granite for the data could strain relations between the school districts, he said.
But board members J. Dale Ahlberg, Joyce Anderson and Bruce R. Cutler said the two districts could mutually benefit if they work together to resolve the school issues related to annexation. Those supporting annexation might change their minds if they don't like proposals to deal with the school issues, they said.
Preliminary data show that about 391 elementary students live in the proposed annexation area. All of them attend Plymouth School, which Granite would have to close if it failed to meet the state's 70 percent utilization requirement.
Granite, which opposes the annexation, earlier provided a breakdown on how many students are in each grade level, but Murray officials say they need such information broken down by neighborhoods.
The more specific information is needed, they say, before a final decision can be made on where students would attend school if Murray City Council approves the annexation.
Cutler said west Murray residents also need to know how their schools may be affected so they can express their feelings to Murray City. A number of options are available and would likely involve more than one school. Switching at least one school to a year-round program would be likely, said Murray Schools Superintendent Ronald L. Stephens.
"We're (the two districts) friends now and we will be friends after this. If the people asking for annexation do not like our proposal they may want to stay with Granite; we may end up helping Granite," Ahlberg said.