"We need to hear from the public," says Bushnell-Prairie City superintendent Dave Messersmith. "This is bigger than a seven member school board decision and we certainly want to give everyone an opportunity to have a say in it."
The proposal looks to consolidate Abingdon, Avon, and Bushnell-Prairie City school districts. The grade schools in all three communities would remain the same, with a single middle school in Abingdon and the high school located in Bushnell. Messersmith says the move would directly benefit students, especially in the smaller districts.
"The main goal is a better educational opportunity for students," Messersmith says. "I think that from the very onset of this, it's been student driven."
While the streets of Avon are littered with signs supporting the move, there is much more division in the other two communities
"It's a major adjustment and it's something that has certainly had some push back," says Messersmith.
One of the biggest concerns is transportation. Abingdon and Bushnell are more than twenty miles apart. Residents we talked to are worried the distance is too much.
"I can't see how they're going to be saving money when they're going to be bussing all these kids from here to Bushnell, from Bushnell to here," says Barbara Peck of Abingdon.
"I don't like where they're going to put the kids. The way they're going to divide the kids up," says Cindy Rylander of Berwick.
Others are concerned about possible tax hikes and the overall cost of consolidating.
"I've talked with the neighbors and they're pretty upset about it," says Connie Whitlow of Bushnell. "They say it's really going to raise the taxes on the land and we can't afford to pay any more."
Regardless the opinions, school officials like Messersmith hope these communities make their voices heard on March 20th.
If passed, the new school district would take effect July first.
The measure needs to pass with a majority vote in each community in order for the consolidation to take place.