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New NYSSBA Report Examines School District Mergers

Smaller, financially strapped school districts that can offer greater educational opportunities by joining together are the best candidates for mergers, according to a new research report by the New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA).

 

The report found that losses in state aid and the local property tax cap have forced some districts to eliminate teaching and support staff positions, affecting their ability to provide elective courses and, in some cases, core courses as well.

By merging, these districts might be better able to offer a wider variety of educational programs and courses than they would otherwise.

 

“While we often hear policymakers talk about cost savings as the main impetus for school district mergers, school board members must first and foremost consider the academic implications of a proposed merger,” said NYSSBA Executive Director Timothy G. Kremer.

 

NYSSBA’s new report, “To Merge or Not to Merge,” explores the pros and cons of school district mergers and identifies key factors in determining whether a community will support a merger.

 

Aside from increased educational opportunities for students, school districts might consider a merger to realize cost savings due to economies of scale, provide greater access to extracurricular activities, or receive additional state aid. 

 

Yet mergers also present drawbacks, such as loss of community identity and longer bus rides. 

 

The report also found that creating a successful school merger depends on several important factors, including: 

 

• Whether districts will benefit more or less equally from the merger, both financially and academically 

 

• Building trust and credibility with voters 

 

• Obtaining buy-in from school staff and students 

 

“School leaders are being forced to look at alternative ways to provide student services with fewer resources,” said Kremer. “Decisions about mergers and consolidations should be made locally. It is the students, parents, taxpayers and employees in the school district who are most affected.” 

 

The report can be found at www.nyssba.org.

 

—New York State School Boards Association (NYSBBA)


News

 

Last June, Nassau County passed legislation that allows for the deployment of a speed enforcement camera system in school zones for each of the 56 public school districts in the county. 

 

The new systems will be implemented throughout the county on July 25, and will be operational on scheduled school days throughout the year. 

U.S. Naval Veteran Wendy Linden

U.S. Navy Veteran Wendy Linden is incredibly modest when talking about her three years in the service. 

 

“I did nothing heroic,” says the Levittown resident, “but these men around me, they have done amazing things.” 

 

Linden signed up for the U.S. Navy in 1983 after receiving some motivation from her cousin, who had been involved with the Blue Angels. As a Long Island native, she had hoped to be stationed close to home. Her “wish list” included several ports, from New England all the way to the Brooklyn Navy Yard... but instead she was sent to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. 


Sports

Levittown’s Division Avenue High School varsity baseball team, under the direction of coach Tom Tuttle, won the Class A County Championship, garnering a third-place ranking in New York State. This is the team’s 13th county championship win and the second county championship for the school in the past four years.

 

In addition, senior Chris Reilly was named Championship MVP for throwing a complete game shutout in game two and going three for four with two RBIs. 

Taylor Traenkle, a junior at Division Avenue High School recently received the MVP award for the Nassau County Varsity Hockey League Association.

 

Traenkle, who plays no. 9 for the Levittown Ice Falcons, led the way averaging 2.8 points a game with a total of 25 goals and 23 assists in just 17 games. 


Calendar

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Flea Market - July 27

Darlene Prince and the Bragg Hollow Band - July 28


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