Merging School Districts 930in716 March 9, 2018

Friday, March 9th

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Her kids 930. In 716. It's been proposed before and now again. The idea of merging school districts is being put four. The poster child too many school district has the talent she Anwar eerie county executive mark Poland cars the latest to push the idea. In his annual state of the county address good idea. Each of these schools in Cheektowaga is governed by a separate board which offers a problem I would tell you. And we don't take a look at whether or not that are real cost savings I think there probably are. One expert with a deep educational background thinks so I'm Tim linger on the podcast powered by the Brothers of mercy. A five star rated skilled nursing residents offering affordable living in a country setting. Let me give you an example of how merging school districts and won every county town could result in millions of dollars in savings without the closing of one school. With a lay off of a teacher a teacher's aid and guidance counselor or a bus driver. Pulling cars talked about a lot during his address this week but the centerpiece. Was his push for merging upper level cost. At area school districts the poster child too many school districts as the town cheek to walk. She blog at rapid growth in the 1950s and sixties it reached its population peak. 113. 1844. In 1970. However by 2010 she logs population dropped 88226. And the projections are still dropping. Moreover. Between 2002010. She walked us ought dropped children seventeen and under by nearly 15%. And that trend has grown throughout this that he is well. So why is the population Cheektowaga. As it gets substantially smaller. Mean in the text base and the number of children attending schools get smaller. Like they still have five major school districts. Yes you heard me right there are five major school districts in Cheektowaga. She can log central merry. G to August longs last year Kate Cleveland hill into pew. And it does not include the three other districts actually overlap into the town Cheektowaga. Williams bill Lancaster. In West Africa. Why is Wanda. With slightly less than population that Cheektowaga. Or what sort of picking each one major school districts serving its residents. Why isn't that the williams' most central school district has 1000. More students. Than the combined Cheektowaga districts. But it spends 2.3 million dollars less and administrative costs annually. Why is it that school and fire districts were created in the days when horse issue on the road with model t.s. Still in existence today. I can tell you why because there's never been the political will to do it. If we are serious about creating more competitive environment for the future. And we must take on these issues now. This is not about cutting teachers and increasing class noises but eliminating duplicative top heavy administrative costs. Think about if you have five school districts in an area where you could have won. You have five superintendents. Five chief financial officers. Five orders five chief academic officers and so on and so long you could merge every district and she can walk into just one just. Similar to Ken done. And you would see more than two million dollars alone from the elimination of duplicative administrative law. It is now right after the address our Mike betterment talk with Poland cars and a little deeper into his proposal and how to accomplish it we do collect sales tax we have in 1977 agreement that provides funding sails a sales tax school districts and almost no companies do that. They may share with their towns oversees the world of the few that actually shares. With school district so we do have that sort of hammer. That we we could theoretically say all right if you're not gonna look at this than maybe you don't deserve to have that sales tax so what I would say is. There's a lot of issues that we have to leave in your county has let on in the future which aren't necessarily ones that you think. Our county government by. As I said there are lots of other communities that we compete and not read locally but nationally. And they have one school district and county we're never gonna go to system we have one school district and accounting. But it is kind of ridiculous to defy falls school districts and chief Longo has population is declining. And it's tax base is dropping. We can do better and that's why I wanna have this conversation teachers will hear the word merger and I'd wonder okay. I might be losing my job as a result of this I touched on a little bit earlier but for to alleviate those concerns teachers were well what we're talking about as the top level positions superintendent CFOs. Internal waters. Not teachers and and the report that we're gonna issue and a couple weeks it's gonna spell that out. If you'd just reduced. The top level administrative costs. So we're keeping teachers were keeping teacher and eight were keeping schools open we're keeping principles we're keeping bus drivers in this plan on talking about the superintendents. Why you need five superintendents. For five districts in Cheektowaga. When Williams will central school district is actually larger and only has one superintendent and chief financial officer. So when people talk about mergers of law school districts in the past what they've focused on. Has been how to we reduce teachers and schools I'm saying we don't need to reduce teachers in schools. What we can do is keep those schools open continue to support the teachers. Continue to support the principles in the teacher's aides. What look at those top heavy numbers that were big faux can be saved and the report that on any issue and a couple weeks is going to be pretty eye opening. Because that identifies those costs for every school district and you will see that there are a lot of school districts that pay a lot of money per student. Lot more than people realize. For their administrative costs so is it a good idea. We went to our education guide for his take. All I liken it says something we should have been doing along the goal. Bob Bennett new York state board of regent emeritus. There are 98 school districts in just Western New York. It was a total bill of four billion dollars 22000. Teachers and generous sir many more students that a course and down. I just think that. Any consolidation shouldn't should look at obviously personnel health care and transportation. The three biggest costs. In education. And more importantly villas is the quality of teaching in school leadership and governance those are all wish issues should be on the table. Because. The opportunity for a quality education is not the same that it really does depend on where you live. And that should not be the case if I would hope that the him. And independent study could be done so that. We have lots of groups that are got a system and some that are four and I'm totally for it. I think it would be good because I think we could then look at quality of teaching that's available. Which after all as far as education should be oh well. And Vick county executive says this can be accomplished buying keeping open all the buildings that are already open you know not laying off any teachers only consolidating superintendent sent. A few administrators at the top it to you agree with him can't be done that way. Well it could be done that way and I think it wanted to go and check in with the border regions person in terms of how Hollywood approach that. And that each of these schools in Cheektowaga has governed by a separate board which else's problem. Who. And we can take a look at whether or not that are real cost savings I think they probably are. Vehicle was researchers as saying accurately handled by that whatsoever. So I think a move like that would be good as a matter of fact other states have counties in. School districts would show us and should be under review in the New York as well when that have 62 school districts and sent the 710. You know those five Cheektowaga school districts are Cheektowaga central merry down two to August Sloan. Cleveland hill and appealed I think they're all within ten miles of each other heavy stun elsewhere about. Not a New York State I haven't known that relief. Is the thinking just not there in the state do you think. The resistance is pretty strong and and and strangely enough. Well one of the big factors as what about my sports team you can't do that to my sports teams and which is totally and ridiculous but. That really is a powerful force one. Earns given involved and identity issues and and things like sports on the other hand folks sent. Should be leading this charge should be the border regions and the commissioner. There's I don't think the legislature will do anything with this as just way too political for I'm afraid. So have an independent real steady doubt and say American sources where we couldn't. Improve teaching and proven leadership. And reduce costs those should be as controlling factors that it's it's very much worth an effort. And that vote or put it on the executive takes special education for example. Every single district has their own plans for special education that's just not right. But we've been taking a lot of comments on this idea on Aaron FaceBook page this morning and a lot of people saying they're for it. But somebody Chiming in single one problem I see is will this just results in more administrators. I don't think so you gotta look the business model and bring in school of management vast schools of education. And let them develop a model for you in terms of real delegation. Threat right now schools superintendent spend 60% of the time managing a school board which is just ridiculous. So how this is governed as critically important. You mentioned sports teams with each of these schools and stepping a big problem. The sports have that much influence. Oh yes indeed it does it sure does. I wish it weren't so an amber exports and don't get me wrong but I think that. It's in the K12 system there to learn and prepare for carriers are. Some form of continuing education Weathers 24 here best way. But and along the way sports teams become. Overwhelmingly important. Even in nice save this Cheektowaga example scenario and you could still have a different football team in Mary Bell in all of these different high schools. Just you know it keeping the name it everything I mean really in this and limited example you're only talking about administrators that half to emerge. This would be a good thing to look at in terms of a model for the rest of of Western New York region. Because it does differences ourselves star I mean if you're in a rural district now you're barely alive. In terms of budget funding and access to services so I think I think this should proceed and taken very very sharp or. And if you have to protect the football team shall go ahead and protected but I. Shouldn't be the number one issue and education. Pulling cars will release a DTL report on the school's issue within a couple of weeks. We're back Monday. That's 930 and 716. We're back tomorrow with a net irritation from the studios of WD EA and buffalo law.