K-12 EDUCATION

Several Utah County cities exploring split from the Alpine School District

Apr 30, 2024, 2:00 PM

Alpine School District split...

The Alpine School District logo is projected onto a screen during a 2020 meeting. (Scott G. Winterton/Deseret News)

(Scott G. Winterton/Deseret News)

UTAH COUNTY, Utah — A handful of Utah County cities are considering a split from Alpine School District. If the change becomes a reality, they could start their own district. 

On Monday night, the Highland City Council signed an interlocal agreement with Cedar Hills, Lehi, Draper, American Fork and Alpine cities. Under that agreement, the cities will consider forming their own school district.

Additionally, Saratoga Springs, Eagle Mountain, Fairfield and Cedar Fort have been exploring something similar.

Highland City Mayor Kurt Ostler said that if a city, or in this case, a group of cities, wants to split from a school district, the voters within those cities would make the final decision.

Orem sought to do something similar in 2022. However, voters shut it down that November.

If the Alpine School District pursued a split, every voter within the district would have a say in the decision. It would not fall upon the voters of one city, as the decision in Orem did. 

Why would Alpine School District split? 

According to Ostler, the growth in Utah County has convinced some that it is time to split. 

The school district hired a Florida-based consulting group, MGT Consulting, to evaluate and present options.

Last week, the group made several recommendations for possible splits. It recommended that if a split were to happen, the district should pursue a two-district option after a community vote on whether or not to split at all.

“When you can get a little bit more local and where you have a local school district, [people] will respond,” Ostler told KSL NewsRadio. “It helps the students…this is not a power play by the city.”

The Alpine School District Board is currently meeting about the split. Consideration of the split is listed as action number one on their agenda.

If the school board recommends a split, then the choice will be placed on the ballot this November for voters to decide. 

Related: Consulting firm recommends Alpine School District vote on splitting district in two

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Several Utah County cities exploring split from the Alpine School District