EDUCATION + SCHOOLS

Bill to help with seamless transition, if Orem votes for its own school district

Sep 21, 2022, 7:30 PM | Updated: 9:27 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 — In the November election, Orem residents will vote whether or not to split off from the Alpine School District and create their own school district.

If Orem votes to create its own district, Utah Sen. Keith Grover (R-Provo) has opened a bill that would help address questions concerning boundaries.

Grover says Orem has schools that share boundaries with other cities. As an example, Grover sites Oak Canyon Junior High School and Timpanogos High School have students that come from Lindon and Pleasant Grove.

“So, this bill clarifies that those studies will be able to have a seamless transition,” Grover said. “So, it clarifies what is already known in state code a little bit. But kids can attend the schools they want, but also makes it very clear. So, there’s a seamless transition.”

Grover thinks there is a chance Orem will vote to create its own district. Since it’s not a partisan issue, however, he says it’s important that all voters turn out to vote.

“People I spoke with were, I would say, favorable of having their own district,” he said. “Would have a little more say, a little more control.”

However, he says not everyone is on board with it. Grover says he has friends who are on the Alpine School Board, who are on the other side of the issue.

“It’s trending very well,” he said. “But it’s very hard to tell because this is going to be every voter. It’s not a partisan election.”

Grover says other communities are considering following in Orem’s footsteps.

“This issue will not go away,” he said. “I’ve heard from other municipalities that are looking at this issue and looking to follow it. Because they are thinking about, perhaps, forming their own district because they are getting large. After a while how big is too big?”

If the Orem votes to split away from the Alpine School District, Grover’s bill will be debated during the 2023 legislative session.

Mark Jones contributed to this article.

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