A new proposal is on the table in the back-and-forth negotiations between the two sparring sides of Jordan School District.

Some east-side leaders said the Jordan-west transition team's counter proposal, which came out of the initial plan earlier this month, may as well be another rejection.

"On its face it appears to be very unreasonable," said Jeff Shields, Jordan-east attorney, who said the east-side team has yet to take a position.

But Jordan-west transition team leaders say it's the most logical plan.

"It's the most logical, most straightforward and makes the most sense ... it does no harm to children and it kind of gets the politics out of it," said Ralph Haws, Jordan-west transition team chairman. "It's what's best for kids."

East-side residents voted in November to split from Jordan and establish their own district.

Last week the Jordan-east team signed off on the second proposal created by the negotiating team, which consists of two members of each transition team.

Provisions in that proposal would require a 50/50 split of the district's assets, including the value of school buildings and other assets.

But Jordan-west team members contend that since the remaining west-side district will have more students, they should have more of the pie.

"When you operate on the philosophy of 'do no harm to the children,' for us to agree to give them 50 percent of the assets when we have 60 percent of the children — that does harm to the students and patrons, parents and taxpayers," Haws said.

Also, the Jordan-west team doesn't agree that school buildings should be counted as part of the assets, saying that if anything they are liabilities.

"(Schools) could really be considered a liability since they simply provide a vehicle for housing students — they don't generate revenue and require school districts to expend funds (heat, maintenance, custodial) and they can't be liquidated, nor do they generate a cash flow," Haws said.

Under their proposal, schools and route school buses aren't up to be divvied out since they have historically been a part of one side or the other.

However, under the proposal, all assets, liabilities, fund balances and inventories not specifically allocated would be allocated based upon each new district's share of students. So under the newer proposal, current assets that are being used district-wide, such as the district offices, shops, vehicles and programs, would be divided based on the number of students — possibly somewhere around 60/40.

Jordan-east has yet to respond to the counter-proposal but some say it not likely it will be accepted. Leaders from both sides have said they want to avoid arbitration but so far they have been unable to agree on how to fairly split the assets.

In a letter to the Jordan-east team, Jordan-west invited negotiating team members and legal counsel meet with their own for further discussions.


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