Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Consolidation News

Recent news listed on my consolidation bookmarks on delicious.com include New York's new budget: the New York Daily News says

The budget enacts initiatives Governor Cuomo proposed to make districts more efficient and improve student performance. Funds totaling $500 million will be awarded competitively to districts that demonstrate significant improvements in student performance and to districts that undertake long term structural changes to reduce costs and improve efficiency. The budget also restores $270 million in education related funding.
Hmm. Smaller budgets have to work around that one, including a neighbor: The Fayetteville-Manlius School District is proposing a budget that would cut about 14 staff positions. And as always it's not just NY; from Kansas we hear that Lawrence school board members vote to close Wakarusa Valley School / LJWorld.com
The task force also calls for consolidating a list of six schools — Cordley, Hillcrest, Kennedy, New York, Pinckney and Sunset Hill — down to three or four within three to five years, with construction of new or expanded schools through a bond issue.
Saving money by constructing new schools. Hmm.. From Canandaigua we get opinions like Town/village systems, not schools, are where to save:
There is no question that New York state wastes ridiculous amounts of money. There are so many areas the state can cut waste and fraud. Remember the New York Times piece about retired Long Island Railroad workers? The reporters discovered that 90 percent are on disability, including accountants, clerks and other nonphysical workers — and the state offers them free golf privileges! Let’s cut nonessential programs before we make our children go to school in dilapidated facilities.
And there are more opinions from Albany, looking for options at

Find ways to rescue N.Y. school districts

All school districts face the reality of less state aid and rising costs, along with the possibility of a property tax cap. ... consider all available options.

It seems logical that school consolidation is the answer. However, in the past 10 years, there have been only four consolidations in the state. Two districts in western New York attempted both a merger with each other and an annexation. Both efforts failed.

What other options do they have? ...

  • Is additional consolidation practical?
  • Could superintendents and other central office functions be shared among several districts?
  • Could central or regional high schools serve the needs of our rural schools?
  • Could small rural schools be served through online learning?
  • Could districts negotiate regional collective bargaining agreements and health insurance agreements?

Well, maybe. Or then again, maybe not.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home