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Southampton, Tuckahoe Boards Discuss Merger Feasibility Wednesday

Public is invited to 7 p.m. meeting at Rogers Memorial Library on making the two school districts one.

Taxpayers and residents in the Southampton and Tuckahoe school districts will have the opportunity Wednesday night to get their questions answered on the feasibility of merging the two school districts.

The Southampton and Tuckahoe school boards are convening a joint meeting at Rogers Memorial Library in Southampton Village at 7 p.m. Wednesday, and the public is invited to attend.

According to a statement from Tuckahoe School District, the overriding question of the discussion will be, “Would instructional opportunity be enhanced for all students at a similar or reduced cost to taxpayers by combining the two districts?”

It is the first of a series of meetings with SES Study Team, LLC, an Albany-area consulting firm hired to examine the potential merger. For this initial session Wednesday, the consultants are expected to outline the scope of their work and their timetable. Future meetings will focus on key topics and questions, such as district governance, projected enrollment, class size, academic programs and facilities use, according to a district statement.

Tuckahoe and Southampton school districts will each organize a community advisory committee, of communty members, staff and local officials. The ad hoc committees will work between Jan. 28 and Aug. 1, and five to seven joint meetings between each district's community advisory committee are expected to be scheduled.

The committees will be charged with listening to presentations and discussions, and provide their own perspectives and feedback; to advise the consultants; to help keep residents informed; and to promote three-way communication among school district officials, residents and the consultants. For additional criteria, see the attached pdf.

Tuckahoe community members who are interested in joining are invited to call Linda Springer at 631-283-3550 ext. 317 before Jan. 22.

Southampton School District community members can contact Terri Sutherland at 631-591-4510 or tsutherland@southamptonschools.org to inquire about joining. More information is available on the district website.

  • Should Tuckahoe and Southampton School Districts Be Merged?
Vicki Greene January 09, 2013 at 02:57 PM
Vicki Let's just kick this rusty can down the road . . . how much are we paying for consultants. Does anyone seriously believe that the children's education will suffer from a merger? This is about a tax burden that is unsustainable -- and an expensive (administrative cost) one-school school district. Enough.
Brendan J. O'Reilly January 09, 2013 at 03:40 PM
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Mary Beth January 09, 2013 at 03:45 PM
Vicki, do you really think that you can simply add 350 plus kids to Southampton and NOT see increased cost? Sure, you will save administrative costs, but if, as you believe, a merger will not cause harm to a child's education, then you need to provide at least the same services and attention they are receiving before the merger. And don't forget, merging does not mean every kids physically attends SH. The merger study could very well recommend annexing the actual Tuckahoe School building, not just getting rid of that cost. As for the tax burden, I would not assume any significant easing.
John C January 17, 2013 at 02:53 PM
Mary Beth with the Tuckahoe rate at 7.22% and the Southampton rate at 2.3% 350 kids does not overload the Southampton district plus they get the whole district at 2.3% which covers quite a few homes so the kids will not suffer only your ego will be hurt.
Mary Beth January 17, 2013 at 03:43 PM
John C, please explain how my "ego" will be hurt? Pointless comment, but let's focus on your other assertion: Where is your proof that, should a merger take place, both districts will be taxed at 2.3%?

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