New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the legislature approved a plan in the state budget to encourage local governments and schools to merge and share services over the next few years in an attempt to lower property taxes. But according to a study by school administrators, attempts at school district mergers in recent years have failed, partly because the public doesn’t want them.
Vermont lawmakers are hoping a new approach will get more school districts to merge.
A plan approved two years ago had one regional school board take the place of local town boards. So far, that's happened just once and voters in some towns have expressed concern about a further loss of local control.
This year, the Legislature passed a bill that provides more flexibility by creating the opportunity for some towns in a supervisory union to create their own single district, even if others decide not to join.