Orem voters to decide whether city leaves Alpine, forms own school district

Orem residents attend a public meeting on the feasibility of leaving the Alpine School District at Orem City Hall on July 12, 2022. Photo: Orem.org

OREM, Utah, Aug. 3, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — Orem voters will decide in November whether the city should form its own school district.

The Orem City Council voted 4-3 Tuesday night to put a potential split from the Alpine School District on the ballot.

“With my vote, I’m going to vote for the people of Orem and most importantly allow them the freedom to decide what’s best for their children and grandchildren,” Mayor David Young said.

“The future of our schools is too important to be decided by seven members of the City Council,” Councilwoman LaNae Millet added.

A feasibility study for creating an Orem school district was commissioned in February, and its findings were presented to the City Council on July 12. The council’s vote Tuesday night followed a series of public meetings to discuss potentially leaving the state’s largest school district.

According to the study:

  • Orem taxpayers contributed $910 million in property taxes to the Alpine School District from 2002 to 2021. Of those funds, $627 million was allocated to the general fund to pay for school operations, while $283 million was used to build new schools and pay off bond debt. Approximately $120 million from Orem taxpayers subsidized the building of schools outside the city.
  • Class sizes for Orem schools are 10% to 30% larger than classes in the Provo School District and could increase as much as 23% during the 2022-23 school year, according to district projections.
  • A new Orem school district would be represented by seven local school board members, all of whom would reside in the city. The local school board would review how tax dollars are spent and have greater oversight over programs at Orem schools.

Orem has considered leaving the Alpine School District before. In 2006, residents filed a petition with the Orem City Council requesting a split from the district. Following a feasibility study, the City Council voted against putting the issue on the ballot.

Orem residents can find more information about the proposed split from the Alpine School District at orem.org/schooldistrictstudy.


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