To further augment my post “The Path Toward School Consolidation in NYS”, I have learned that some districts in the Hudson Valley have been involved in a cost saving consolidation measure – via a new sharing of Superintendents pilot project.
Here is the 2014 report discussing this new effort.
“Rural districts within upstate New York have started sharing superintendents and from the surface it may appear to be a cost
saving approach. However, in these cash-strapped communities, a closer look reveals that direct savings are usually small, but
that the effect of having one individual at the head of two bodies has high potential to lead to other sharing and other savings.
In some cases, the practice may lead to an improvement in the level of services delivered as in the case of one science
teacher who may travel back and forth between two districts. While money is a major concern, a shared superintendent can
help address other issues such as keeping a qualified employee, forestalling a high turnover rate, providing richer course
offerings and exploring the potential for a merger. These are common issues and possible benefits in communities where both
the school enrollment and the district tax base are continually shrinking. ”
What are your thoughts about sharing Superintendent between schools? Good idea or no?
See the full report here:
NYS officials have wanted to force smaller districts to consolidate for some time.
In the late 90’s, Governor Cuomo (the first), authorized NYSED to identify school districts that could/should be consolidated. An attempt was made to pass legislation to take voter approval out of the pic but at that time it failed to pass muster and the Regents would not back it bc of opposition to the same.
The study initially identified 139 school districts (approximately one-fifth of all districts) for further study, based on factors such as enrollment decline, high non-instructional expenditures, high tax effort and low wealth, a high reliance on state aid, and lack of a continuous K-12 program. In the second phase of the study, this group was significantly narrowed (and several other districts added), and 26 districts were studied further.
Generally, SED attempted to weed out the districts that had successfully dealt with structural problems…
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