(a) Any district boundary board or any two (2) or more district boundary boards acting jointly may, when in the judgment of the board it would be for the benefit of the educational needs of the pupils, and only when each school district board consents, submit in writing to the state committee a proposal which would:
(i) Alter and change the boundaries of any school district of any kind; or
(ii) Reorganize any school district or portions of districts; or
(iii) Combine any school district or portion thereof with any adjoining school district or districts; provided that no existing district shall be divided in any manner which will leave the total assessed valuation of its property less in proportion to the number of children shown in its census than the average ratio for all school districts in the county unless the trustees for those districts agree thereto.
(b) Except as provided in this subsection, all actions taken under this article shall conform to the following criteria:
(i) School districts shall be organized as efficient administrative units considering primarily the education, convenience and welfare of the children;
(ii) Except as authorized in W.S. 21-6-223 , the entire state shall be divided into unified school districts;
(iii) All territory of each school district shall be contiguous;
(iv) All territory within a school district shall be a single area from which trustees are elected at-large or be divided into trustee residence areas. Each trustee residence area shall be contiguous. In establishing trustee residence areas, the structure for election of trustees shall be in accordance with W.S. 21-3-111(b) ;
(v) In developing proposals for organization, reorganization and adjustment of boundaries the district boundary boards shall consider a ratio of average daily membership to assessed valuation as nearly equalized as practicable among the districts in the various counties;
(vi) Each proposal shall include provisions for educational opportunity and services as nearly equal as possible in all areas of each district;
(vii) A public hearing or hearings shall be held prior to the submission of a proposal by the district boundary boards prior to the organization, reorganization, boundary adjustment or combining of school districts to receive and keep a record of testimony. Notice of each public hearing shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the area at least once each week for the two (2) weeks immediately preceding the time set for each hearing. The notice shall contain a statement of the time and place of the hearing and a brief summary of its purpose. In addition, at least ten (10) days and not more than fourteen (14) days before the hearing, a copy of the notice shall be sent by mail to each school district trustee residing in the area involved in the hearing. A subcommittee composed of not less than three (3) members of each district boundary board involved, may hold any hearing required to be held under this paragraph.
(c) Unless the state committee determines the information required by this subsection is not necessary for a proposal, a district boundary board proposal submitted to the state committee shall contain:
(i) A name and number of the proposed district;
(ii) A map showing the boundaries of established school districts and the boundaries proposed;
(iii) A description of the proposed boundaries;
(iv) Recommendations respecting the location of schools, the utilization of existing buildings, allocation of existing indebtedness, the employment of existing personnel, the procedure for the reduction in force of employees and the transportation requirements under the proposal;
(v) A summary of the reasons for the proposal;
(vi) A record of all hearings;
(vii) A summary of anticipated improvement in education; and
(viii) Other reports, records and materials as the district boundary board or the state committee deems appropriate.
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