(1) The State Committee for the Reorganization of School Districts created under section 79-435 may create a new school district from other districts, change the boundaries of any district that is not a member of a learning community, or affiliate a Class I district or portion thereof with one or more existing Class II, III, IV, or V districts upon receipt of petitions signed by sixty percent of the legal voters of each district affected. If the petitions contain signatures of at least sixty-five percent of the legal voters of each district affected, the state committee shall approve the petitions. When area is added to a Class VI district or when a Class I district which is entirely or partially within a Class VI district is taken from the Class VI district, the Class VI district shall be deemed to be an affected district.
Any petition of the legal voters of a Class I district in which no city or village is situated which is commenced after January 1, 1996, and proposes the dissolution of the Class I district and the attachment of a portion of it to two or more districts shall require signatures of more than fifty percent of the legal voters of such Class I district. If the state committee determines that such petition contains valid signatures of more than fifty percent of the legal voters of such Class I district, the state committee shall grant the petition.
(2)(a) Petitions proposing to change the boundaries of existing school districts that are not members of a learning community through the transfer of a parcel of land, not to exceed six hundred forty acres, shall be approved by the state committee when the petitions involve the transfer of land between Class I, II, III, or IV school districts or when there would be an exchange of parcels of land between Class I, II, III, or IV school districts and the petitions have the approval of at least sixty-five percent of the school board of each affected district. If the transfer of the parcel of land is from a Class I school district to one or more Class II, III, IV, V, or VI school districts of which the parcel is not a part or with which the parcel is not affiliated, any Class II, III, IV, V, or VI school district of which the parcel is not a part or with which the parcel is affiliated shall be deemed an affected district.
(b) The state committee shall not approve a change of boundaries pursuant to this section relating to affiliation of school districts if twenty percent or more of any tract of land under common ownership which is proposing to affiliate is not contiguous to the high school district with which affiliation is proposed unless (i) one or more resident students of the tract of land under common ownership has attended the high school program of the high school district within the immediately preceding ten-year period or (ii) approval of the petition or plan would allow siblings of such resident students to attend the same school as the resident students attended.
(3)(a) Petitions proposing to create a new school district, to change the boundary lines of existing school districts that are not members of a learning community, to create an affiliated school system, or to affiliate a Class I district in part and to join such district in part with a Class VI district, any of which involves the transfer of more than six hundred forty acres, shall, when signed by at least sixty percent of the legal voters in each district affected, be submitted to the state committee. In the case of a petition for affiliation or a petition to affiliate in part and in part to join a Class VI district, the state committee shall review the proposed affiliation subject to sections 79-425 and 79-426. The state committee shall, within forty days after receipt of the petition, hold one or more public hearings and review and approve or disapprove such proposal.
(b) If there is a bond election to be held in conjunction with the petition, the state committee shall hold the petition until the bond election has been held, during which time names may be added to or withdrawn from the petitions. The results of the bond election shall be certified to the state committee.
(c) If the bond election held in conjunction with the petition is unsuccessful, no further action on the petition is required. If the bond election is successful, within fifteen days after receipt of the certification of the bond election results, the state committee shall approve the petition and notify the county clerk to effect the changes in district boundary lines as set forth in the petitions.
(4) Any person adversely affected by the changes made by the state committee may appeal to the district court of any county in which the real estate or any part thereof involved in the dispute is located. If the real estate is located in more than one county, the court in which an appeal is first perfected shall obtain jurisdiction to the exclusion of any subsequent appeal.
(5) A signing petitioner may withdraw his or her name from a petition and a legal voter may add his or her name to a petition at any time prior to the end of the period when the petition is held by the state committee. Additions and withdrawals of signatures shall be by notarized affidavit filed with the state committee.