We applaud voters in the Armstrong-Ringsted and Sentral school districts who, this week, ratified a merger. The support for the proposal was overwhelming.
The two schools, along with North Kossuth, have been in a sharing agreement for a year, under the North Union banner. But this was no guarantee that voters would accept a complete consolidation. That they did speaks well of them and their children, who have been directly impacted by the association.
Of course, the hard work of bringing the schools together was undertaken by administrators and school board members, who began the process several years ago, despite trepidation from their constituents. The overwhelmingly positive vote in favor of what those leaders started shows that vision and reason are rewarded, in the end.
It's not entirely clear if this joining of schools would have occurred, or happened so soon, if not for the state of Iowa pushing to get smaller districts to merge. The state, which is responsible to the broadest range of taxpayers, is doing the right thing in improving public school efficiency. While small towns may feel some loss of identity because of this, the children of those towns do just fine. Their academic offerings are maintained or improved, and their social skills advance.