School consolidation raises concerns among officials

"It may come to one central office and supervisory board overseeing multiple districts," Lawson said. "This may also require a consolidation of high schools, but it would leave kindergarten through 8th grade at their present locations."

New York State has 697 school districts with an average enrollment of 2,540 students.

More than 200 districts, or 28 percent of the total statewide, have fewer than 1,000 students enrolled.

The commission's report cites that smaller school districts are more expensive than larger ones to operate per pupil, and educational opportunities are more limited, with fewer specialized or advanced placement courses offered.

Lawson said that the consolidation proposal has left the state of current school districts in doubt.

"I am not sure which way the state is going to go," he said. "We are all looking for ways to maintain programs while keeping budgets and taxes low."

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