SGF, Fort Ed­ward schools to study merger

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - LOCAL NEWS - By Staff

SOUTH GLENS FALLS, N.Y. >> South Glens Falls and Fort Ed­ward school dis­tricts have agreed to con­duct a pre-merger study to ex­am­ine the pros and cons of a pos­si­ble merger.

Specif­i­cally, the study will ex­am­ine whether South Glens Falls Cen­tral Schools should an­nex Fort Ed­ward Union Free School District.

In an an­nex­a­tion, a new district is not cre­ated. The Fort Ed­ward district would be dis­solved and be­come part of South Glens Falls.

“Given the fi­nan­cial con­straints, we must be­gin to ex­am­ine op­tions for our district’s fu­ture,” said Fort Ed­ward Su­per­in­ten­dent Daniel Ward. “We’re com­mit­ted to mak­ing the best choices for our stu­dents and our com­mu­nity, and look­ing at all of our op­tions. The long-term, big pic­ture de­ci­sions that the Fort Ed­ward Board of Ed­u­ca­tion is re­spon­si­ble for mak­ing re­quires that the district col­lect and re­view the in­for­ma­tion that will be pro­vided by this study.”

Fort Ed­ward lost a sig­nif­i­cant amount of tax­able prop­erty value when the as­sess­ment of a Gen­eral Elec­tric Co. de­wa­ter­ing plant was re­duced by more than $60 mil­lion.

This re­sulted in a $1.2 mil­lion loss in tax rev­enue, which has forced the district to cut staff while con­tin­u­ing to raise taxes for res­i­dents. The Fort Ed­ward district has about 500 stu­dents in kinder­garten through grade 12.

South Glens Falls has roughly 3,100 stu­dents.

The pre-merger study, con­ducted by the ed­u­ca­tional con­sult­ing firm Castallo & Silky, LLC, of Syra­cuse, will ad­dress en­roll­ment pro­jec­tions, in­struc­tional and ex­tracur­ric­u­lar pro­gram­ming, fi­nance, fa­cil­i­ties, trans­porta­tion and staffing.

“We are will­ing to be a part of Fort Ed­ward’s ef­forts to con­tinue to pro­vide ex­cel­lent aca­demic pro­gram­ming and sup­port for its stu­dents,” said South Glens Falls Su­per­in­ten­dent Kris­tine Orr. “We are open to learn­ing how our dis­tricts could both ben­e­fit, and how a merger would im­pact our own stu­dents, our po­ten­tial rev­enue and our tax­pay­ers.”

The study, which costs $5,500 for each school district, will be con­ducted through­out the win­ter. Re­sults are ex­pected to be re­leased to the pub­lic in June.

Each district will re­ceive aid to off­set more than half of the study cost. Fort Ed­ward will re­ceive 71 per­cent aid while South Glens Falls will re­ceive 62 per­cent aid.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.