Board Votes to Dissolve the Boone County Special Education Cooperative

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BELVIDERE (WIFR) -- We're continuing to follow how the Belvidere School District plans to reduce its $28 million deficit. One partnership between District 100 and the North Boone School District that serves special needs students will be dissolved. The Boone County Special Education Cooperative will cease to exist in June 2014

Unlike most district decisions, this one did not involve the school board. Instead, on Thursday, an eight member panel that consists of members from both districts decided this is the best course of action. They say students shouldn't be affected at all, pus this decision saves millions of dollars. The co-op was established in the 70's when the districts were much smaller. It was a way for them to provide more programs and opportunities for special needs students while also sharing the costs of these services. Belvidere's superintendent says both districts can now provide a full range of special education services all on their own, so it made sense to dissolve the co-op.

“The services they get today are the same services they're going to get tomorrow and we're very pleased that North Boone has been able to now offer a full range of special education services and they will continue to do so in the future,” says Belvidere Superintendent Dr. Michael Houselog.

By eliminating the co-op, the Belvidere School District will see a one time savings of $1.8 million. The funds the co-op already has in the bank, plus any new federal and state dollars, will be split between the two districts and placed into their general funds.

The co-op board hired a new director on Thursday. He'll be in charge of winding things down for the co-op and then take over as the director of special needs in the Belvidere School District