Pa. lawmakers want study of possible school consolidation

 The York County House Republican delegation is asking Pennsylvania's Independent Fiscal Office to look into how much money could be saved by consolidating the administrative functions of York County's public schools.

The delegation said the study results would in no way affect current geographic boundaries of school districts or their athletic programs.

“This isn't about doing away with Red Lion's football team or Dallastown's basketball team or somebody's soccer program,” Rep. Stan Saylor said. “It's still going to be the Red Lion Lions, they're still going to be the Wildcats, the Central York Panthers, or whatever it is. Remember that. This is not about making it one school.”

Lawmakers said the study would analyze certain
aspects of a hypothetical consolidation of the administrative functions
of the county's 15 public school districts, and the possible taxpayer
benefits that might be derived.

There was no talk of combining teaching positions. Rep. Ron Miller said such a move likely would result in higher costs to the taxpayer.

“Almost every time in the private sector that you have merged unions, you have come in at the higher contract rate,” Miller said.

Two school board members had some concerns. Mike Wagner of Central York was puzzled as to why local school boards hadn't been told about the proposal before yesterday.

“I think it's a great study to undertake. I really do, because the more we know, the better decisions we can make,” Wagner said.

Joel Sears of York Suburban said the biggest hurdle will be the actual implementation.

“We're so dug in to the way we run things that you would think there's a concrete wall around these school districts,” he said.

A group of students from York County School of Technology were leery of any more changes that might result to their curriculum.

“I've been here for my four years and since year one it's been changing,” senior Anthony Ruiz said. “Every year something's different.”

“We've had three schedule changes since we've been here four years,” senior Brock Rivera said.

“Change is good to some, but not for all,” senior Michael Lynch said.” It's hard to adapt sometimes.”


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