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October 28, 2016
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Battle of the small school districts; Roscoe accuses Livingston Manor of issuing ultimatum

Evans responded that even if the two districts agreed to keep both buildings open, the new board, which would be elected once the new district was formed, could end that agreement.

There was also the question of whether merging the two districts makes sense in light of the prevailing sentiments from Albany. Another of Evan’s slides said, “Numerous NYS officials, including commissioner of education John King, have stated that if you merge two small poor rural school districts, the end result is a slightly larger small, rural, poor school.”
The state has repeatedly said that their preference for lowering costs for school districts would be “regional consolidation,” which would likely involve many districts.

Therefore, any merger activity undertaken may be a waste of time and money.

A couple of residents suggested that the merger study, which would cost the district only $2,500 after state incentives, should go forward, if only to gain more information about the process, including what new educational programs could be offered.

But most comments made clear that Roscoe residents believed that their school district would be shortchanged in a merger with their larger neighbor.

Fox, who was in the audience and declined to comment on the “ultimatum” charge, said her board would address the issue at their next meeting on January 18.