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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

U.S. Air Force Veteran Mario Dell’aera, 80, of Levittown said he first volunteered for service in 1952, during the Korean War.

 

“They called volunteers ‘regulars,’” he said, reflecting back to when he first enlisted.

 

From 1952-1956, Dell’era called the Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, Nev. home. The base, he said, operated 24 hours, 7 days a week, training pilots to fly overseas into Korea.

Something about the warmth and sunshine of summer makes it the perfect season for lounging around. 

 

On July 26, the Levittown Community Council hosted its 17th annual Lazy Days of Summer Picnic at the East Village Green Park for families to take advantage of this season of relaxation and laidback fun free of charge.  

 

The DJ played Latin songs as children shook neon colored macarenas and followed the dance moves of a Zumba instructor. Other children enjoyed pony rides, shooting hoops, playing Can Jam and

Tug-of-War, petting farm animals, jumping in a bouncy castle, and fishing for plastic fish in a kiddie pool. 


Sports

Those looking to take swimming lessons and exercise classes at a nearby aquatic center can register for the fall 2014 session at Eisenhower Park, 1899 Hempstead Tpke., East Meadow.  

 

On Friday, Aug. 1 is the last chance for open registration. It begins at 8 a.m. for any remaining spots.  The availability of remaining classes will be made public the day before at 5 p.m.

 

On Monday, September 8 the first day of classes for the fall session begin.

 

Swim lessons will be offered for all levels: 

Eric Haslbauer of Levittown scored fourth overall in the 11th annual Heart & Sole 5 Kilometer Run held on the streets of Plainview on July 20. 

Haslbauer, 21, who has done  most of his running lately for Molloy College, crossed the finish line in 17 minutes, 53 seconds, earning him the second place award in the highly competitive 20-24 age group.

 

A near record field of 531 runners and walkers completed the run, only ten less than the record set last year. The Heart & Sole has clearly become an important summer road race in Nassau County.  The

Run benefits programs at Plainview and Syosset Hospitals.  Race management was handled by the Greater Long Island Running Club. 


Calendar

Erik's Reptile Edventures - July 30

Rich Vos At Governor's - August 1

Worship Without Walls - August 2 


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
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Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
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