Declining numbers mean less money," said Claflin Superintendent June Oeser.
Declining enrollment combined with State budget issues equals real problems, especially for small school districts. That's why Claflin and Lorraine are pooling together.
"There's strength in numbers. We are combining our assets," said Steve Woolf. Woolf is an elementary principal and is probably going to be named the consolidated school's Superintendent.
The State Legislature offers a consolidation incentive which means school officials won't have to worry about budget issues for at least five years.
"It allows us to lock in our general fund budgets for five years. If we decline in enrollment we don't lose money. If the state takes away funding we are not supposed to lose that funding for the five years of that plan," Oeser said.
What usually takes years of debate only took months. School officials worried the longer they waited, the more money they were losing.
"It went really fast, and some community members were concerned about that. But it will be worth it to the kids in the long run," said Oeser.
Voters overwhelmingly approved the merger, but are sad it had to happen.
"It was either we do it now or the government will make us do it later. So might as well do it now when we can have some say, but it is sad because there's rich history at both districts. They were fierce football competitors for one," said Lorraine resident Allen Crow.
Both districts will fire all faculty and staff by June 30. They will start rehiring at the in July, but that doesn't mean everyone will get their job back.
"That's one of the things the staff is concerned about. Whether or not they will have a job or not," Oeser said.
Transportation is also an issue. With schools in Hollyrood, Bushton, and Claflin some students will spend a lot of time on a bus.
"We're going to have to be smart about how we configure the transportation routes so kids don't spend all day on the bus," Woolf said.
Despite all the concerns school officials say the consolidation is a good idea.
"This is a merger that really makes sense," said Woolf.
While the consolidation is effective July 1, school officials are leaving all buildings the way they are for a full year. That's to give them more time to work out details. They will start shutting down schools after that.
*The Associated Press contributed to this report.