On Tuesday night at a regular meeting of the Potsdam Board of Education, the Canton Board of Education joined them to hear a presentation about merging the Potsdam and Canton school districts. According to the Powerpoint presentation, the two year timeline for this process began that night. Over the summer, the two BOE's may move ahead with plans for a feasibility study, publish a request for proposals and apply to the Department of State for funding. This will all take place during a time of year when the communities are not thinking about the public schools and many are away for part or all of the summer. Yet a point made more than once on the presentation slides was that the public must be kept well informed about the process!
In my opinion, moving ahead during the summer is putting the cart before the horse. Have there been any open meetings, forums or hearings by either Board of Education to ask the public whether there is any chance that either community would support this merger? There will be upfront costs for both districts. Before any money is spent, it is wise to discover if there is support to pursue the study or further discussions. As I may have mentioned recently, there are similarities between the districts, but there are also many differences which may prove to be insurmountable.
To view the Powerpoint presentation, go to: Joint Board Presentation on Consolidation