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School Consolidation Study
Written By: Nick Quattrini
ELMIRA HEIGHTS - [WENY] The Elmira Heights and Horseheads School District are facing financial troubles due to rising costs, and lower state aid levels. To combat the problem, both districts are considering a merger. On Monday night, both boards voted on the first step in the process.
Elmira Heights and Horseheads School Districts received nearly $50,000 to study a merger, and its feasibility. The study is going to take more than a year to complete, and study findings would be sent to the New York State Department of Education. The study would look at things like transportation, athletics, and staffing.
Elmira Heights and Horseheads school both approved a timeline, and appointed several board members to a joint planning committee.
Horseheads School Board President Brian Lynch said, "It's great to establish a timeline, there's plenty of work ahead, I think both boards know that of the financial challenge,s and the path that we need to look at, and we will know more in about a year, year and a half."
Elmira Heights School District Superintendent Mary Beth Fiore said, "This is certainly a very long process, we have to do a great job at being thorough, and we will be investigating all of the pros and cons, looking at both short term and long term implications."
In January 2016, the merger would go to a vote, and if it fails in either district, the merger would be thrown out.