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Ticonderoga, Crown Point school merger could save millions

Study completed; presentation Nov. 12 in Crown Point

If Crown Point and Ticonderoga school districts merge, taxpayers will save money and students will have more opportunities. That’s the conclusion of a report by Castallo & Silky-Education Consultants, a Syracuse-based firm hired by the two districts to study a possible merger.

If Crown Point and Ticonderoga school districts merge, taxpayers will save money and students will have more opportunities. That’s the conclusion of a report by Castallo & Silky-Education Consultants, a Syracuse-based firm hired by the two districts to study a possible merger.

— A merger would also lower tax rates, the study said.

“Using 50 percent of the incentive operating aid and the other savings outlined, it is estimated that the true value tax rate for the merged district in the first year would be $9.46 per thousand ($1,000 of assessed value), a reduction of $2.27 per thousand (-19.4 percent) in Crown Point and a reduction of 83 cents per thousand (-8.1 percent) in Ticonderoga,” it reads.

“Translating the full-value tax rate to an assessed value tax rate shows tax rates of $9.18 in the three townships that are currently in the Crown Point district (Crown Point, Moriah and Ticonderoga), $11.70 in Hague and $9.73 in Ticonderoga,” it reports.

Elementary students would remain in their respective schools in a merger, the report recommends, with grades 6-8 attending Ti Middle School and 9-12 attending Ti High School. The Crown Point school, while adequate for elementary students, is not large enough to handle middle and high school enrollments, the report said.

Bus garages should be maintained in each community, the report said.

Students, particularly in high school, would benefit in a merger from increased course offerings, the report found.

“High school course offerings show a solid academic program for students from both Crown Point and Ticonderoga,” the report reads. “However, Ticonderoga, being larger, has more sections of many courses than Crown Point. Each district has some unique offerings that would benefit students in the other district (i.e., calculus and statistics for college credit in Crown Point; Ticonderoga offers French in addition to Spanish and offers college credit in both languages as well as AP courses).

“In a merged district, it would be possible to offer all high school courses currently available in both districts and reduce some staff positions, while maintaining reasonable (maximum of 25 students) class sizes,” the report said. “In addition to offering all of the courses currently available in both high schools and keeping maximum class sizes at 25, a merged high school would have the opportunity to offer even more elective courses.”

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