TICONDEROGA — A report on the feasibility of merging Ticonderoga and Crown Point school systems says the two districts have similar academic performance and are a good match for consolidation.
Courses could be combined without problems, it says, and no electives would be eliminated.
Consultants Jessica Cohen and Alan Pole prepared the study over the last year, and it was released this month.
Crown Point and Ticonderoga elementary-level students will stay in their existing buildings if the districts merge, the report says, and the Ticonderoga Middle School and High School buildings will serve as the new combined middle and high schools.
Students would still have no more than one hour on a school bus to get to school or home.
The study lists numerous facets the districts share and estimates what costs and expenditures would be in a new, combined school system.
Crown Point has a $6.2 million operating budget this year, while Ticonderoga’s is $18.6 million.
A merged district would have a $24.4 million annual budget.
The tax rates are $10.94 for Crown Point and $9.54 in Ticonderoga but would be about $9.46 for a new district, the study says.
Taxpayers with a $100,000 home would save $255 a year on school taxes in Crown Point, $98 in the Hague part of the district and $82 in Ticonderoga from a merger, the study concludes.
Crown Point spent $18,475 a student last year, and Ticonderoga, $17,502. The new district would expend $17,735 per pupil in expenses.
Ticonderoga pays more, with teacher salaries averaging $57,382, while Crown Point’s are an average of $48,598. Leveling salaries would cost $328,958, the study says.
State aid per student was $15,515 for Crown Point and $7,913 for Ticonderoga. Combined it would be $9,729 per student.
About $24,000 a year could be saved by merging athletics.
If the districts were merged, which the report calls “centralization,” a new school district would be created that includes all property of both districts.
The next step would be for both school boards to vote to hold an advisory referendum. If that vote proved positive for a merger, the state commissioner of education would then set a date for a binding referendum.
The referendum would require a separate majority vote of both districts’ voters.
If the vote failed in one district, another vote could be held a year and a day later in only the district where the merger didn’t pass.
The results in the district that OK’d the merger would stand.
The school boards in the two districts are expected to vote in December on whether to hold the straw poll.
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READ THE STUDY
The study is available online at: www.ticonderogak12.org/disinf.cfm?subpage=960823