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Ticonderoga, Crown Point schools to study consolidation

State approves grant for study

Facing declining enrollments, rising poverty rates and escalating property taxes, the Ticonderoga and Crown Point school districts will officially study a possible consolidation. The districts have been awarded a $45,000 state grant to hire a outside consultant to study the two schools.

Facing declining enrollments, rising poverty rates and escalating property taxes, the Ticonderoga and Crown Point school districts will officially study a possible consolidation. The districts have been awarded a $45,000 state grant to hire a outside consultant to study the two schools. Photo by Nancy Frasier.

— Facing declining enrollments, rising poverty rates and escalating property taxes, the Ticonderoga and Crown Point school districts will officially study a possible consolidation.

The districts have been awarded a $45,000 state grant to hire a outside consultant to study the two schools. Once the study is complete, a series of votes will be required before any possible consolidation can take place. The any consolidation can take place is July 2014.

The school boards of both districts expressed interest in a study following a BOCES presentation on shared services in 2011.

“Both Ticonderoga and Crown Point had representatives at that meeting,” John McDonald, Ti school superintendent, said. “That sparked our interest. We then sent a letter to Crown Point asking if they had interest in pursuing a study. They indicated they did.”

The schools then applied for a grant, which was awarded in October, to hire an independent consultant to complete a feasibility study.

“CPCS is being proactive in its efforts to use the local efficiency grant to explore the business of education in both districts,” said Shari Brannock, Crown Point superintendent. “The purpose of the grant is to fund a study that will help both communities determine ways we can become more efficient, share services and possibly reorganize in a manner beneficial to all stakeholders.”

The districts will soon hire a consultant to do the study. Once that study is complete, it will be reviewed by an advisory board made up of representatives of both districts and by the two school boards. There will be a series of public hearings and presentations.

If the advisory and school boards decide to proceed following the study, they must then decide whether to seek a merger or an annexation. A merger combines two school districts into a new district. An annexation simply closes one school and sends its students to the other.

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