The annexation process begins one of three ways, said Kim Richey, general counsel for the state Education Department.
• Two school boards mutually agree to annex. This is the most common situation, Richey said.
• School district voters start a petition that leads to a vote. This process is rare. Richey said she knows of only two petition annexations in recent years, and neither of those involved an entire school district like Farris. Plainview Public Schools annexed part of Ardmore Public Schools in Carter County in 2009. Varnum Public Schools annexed part of Strother Public Schools in Seminole County last month.
• The state Education Department forces a mandatory annex because a district is academically unacceptable, students are not attending the school any more or the district has lost accreditation, usually because of dramatic financial mismanagement.
STAFF WRITER CARRIE COPPERNOLL