Talawanda School District was formed from several smaller districts. State legislators and education leaders pressed for a more economical and efficient system of county schools for several decades. The pressure intensified in the 1950s. The consolidation trend started Aug. 14, 1953, when the Butler County Board of Education voted to combine the Oxford and Hanover school districts, creating the Oxford-Hanover District, effective Oct. 14, 1953. About 10 weeks later, Dec. 23, the Somerville and Milford schools also joined the union. The districts operated separately in the 1953-54 school year. In January 1954, the new combination was designated the Talawanda School District. After passage of a $1.1 million bond issue, ground was broken July 26, 1955, for Talawanda High School. It opened Sept. 17, 1956, with 632 students. In August 1968, the Reily Township schools were annexed to the Talawanda system, enlarging the district to 144 square miles, then the fifth largest school district in Ohio. In 1982, by a 3-2 vote, the Butler County Board of Education ordered the Talawanda District split into two districts. Under the plan, a new Independence School District would have served Reily, Hanover and Milford townships and a portion of Preble County; pupils in the city and Oxford Township would remain in the Talawanda system. Voters in the proposed Independence district rejected the split June 8, 1982, in a referendum (1,994 against; 1,399 in favor).