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Orem school district creation hits a bump in the road

Apr 12, 2022, 4:39 PM | Updated: 8:20 pm

Orem High School from Alpine School District is pictured. alpine school district split debate...

Orem High School in Orem is pictured on Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020. (Kristin Murphy/Deseret News)

(Kristin Murphy/Deseret News)

OREM, Utah — Orem City is looking into creating an Orem school district. The city hired a company to figure out if it’s feasible but some residents want the company to be replaced.

Orem City hired Discovery Education Consultants to do a feasibility study. The study will determine if creating an Orem School District is possible. 

An online petition asking the city to pick a new company has over 1000 signatures.

Some people who signed the petition say the company is too inexperienced. Discovery Education Consultants was created this February.

Some also worry about the head of the company’s possible bias.

“We’re being told that we’re getting an unbiased study when we’re seeing that one of the guys in charge has been a key role in at least one split, [and] is trying to do a second split,” said Cole Ledwig, a parent and Orem resident. 

Dr. Paul McCarty leads the company. Earlier this year McCarty proposed splitting the Canyons district to create a Draper school district. 

McCarty told KSL NewsRadio he’s not an advocate for splitting districts but just wants to do what’s best for the kids. He says the study will contain facts, not his opinions.

“We present all the data, both pros and cons, strengths and weaknesses. And then let the city council decide what they want to do. But we want to give them a total and complete picture,” said McCarty.

Deputy City Manager for Orem, Steven Downs, said regardless of what the study says, the citizens will ultimately decide if there’s a new district. 

Related: Board of education says schools will set their own rules on gender identity

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Orem school district creation hits a bump in the road