OLNEY, TX (KAUZ) - At the Olney Independent School District's special meeting Monday night, officials with the district unanimously denied a petition to annex 34.89 square miles of land from the Olney district's territory to Seymour ISD.
Olney school board members listened to those who represented both sides of the annexation and agreed it is going to negatively impact their school district's budget, and it is in the district's best interest to decline the petition.
The tax revenue from these acres currently goes to Olney ISD, however some of those tax payers want to see their money go to Seymour's school district instead.
Sammie Morris, a Baylor County resident who is for the annexation, spoke at tonight's meeting.
She said although there are no children living in this particular area, the kids and grandchildren of those who own the ranches and fields do go to Seymour.
"Those children are serviced by the Seymour school to ride the bus and have those benefits. We would like to see our tax dollars go there," said Morris.
Morris reassures it is not about lowering taxes and is about education.
"I see that bus coming down the road everyday to pick up those children, so naturally we would like to see our tax dollars going to support that," said Morris.
However, many who are against the land detachment stress there are no kids living in the territory in question.
Doctor Greg Roach, the superintendent of Olney ISD, said this is taking money away from his students, adding about $55,000 of tax revenue is being threatened to be removed from the district's budget.
"It's my job to look after the best interest of this district, and we do not know what the state is going to do with school funding."
In order to understand where some of these land owners are coming from, you have to go back to 1950 when the Westover School District was consolidated with Megargel. Megargel later closed in 2006 when it combined with the Olney school district.
In a press release from Doctor John Baker, the superintendent of Seymour ISD, he said he testified at his school district's meeting on April 28th that the last living Westover School District trustee told him, if the Megargel School District was ever to close, the taxpayers in its Baylor County territory would be permitted to be annexed to Seymour ISD.
Yet, those who are against the petition said Megargel was not closed; it was voted on to be consolidated with Olney ISD.
Both sides said they are not sure how this situation is going to pan out.
Morris said whatever happens, it will be fine.
Doctor Roach said he is pleased with the amount of community support the district has received, adding his job is to keep this revenue for his students.
Since the two school districts could not reach an agreement regarding the land annexation petition, the next step is for an appeal to go to the Texas Commissioner of Education.