Press-Republican

Tuesday

June 11, 2013

City, Beekmantown schools talk shared services

PLATTSBURGH — Plattsburgh City and Beekmantown Central schools are discussing the possibility of sharing district services.

City School Superintendent James “Jake” Short announced at the last School Board meeting that a few members of each district’s board met recently with a consultant to discuss the feasibility of such a collaboration.

Short asked City School Board members if they would be interested in undergoing a joint study with BCSD that would look at opportunities for sharing in the areas of district-level management and operations.

If Beekmantown School Board members are on board, Short said, “what we need to do is give a fair, honest study and evaluation to what’s possible and then lay out a plan of action.”

While City School Board President Leisa Boise, Vice President Tracy Rotz and members Dr. David Stone and Steve Sullivan were not present at the meeting, members Robert Hall, Amelia Goerlitz, Steve Krieg and Clayton Morris indicated they were in favor of such a study.

“I think that’s a direction that we need to go in,” Morris said.

NO SHARED SUPERINTENDENT

And though City School Board member Fred Wachtmeister said he would also support the evaluation, he doesn’t think significant savings would be realized through shared services.

He added that he would not support merging or sharing a superintendent or business office with another district.

“Those are services that serve this community,” Wachtmeister said. “They are time consuming, particularly in this day and age, and I don’t see that opportunity because the savings will come from asking somebody to do twice the work. 

But if you’re going to give a person that big of a responsibility, you’ve got to hire more helpers.”

Short noted that under state law, both the City School and Beekmantown Central are prohibited from sharing a district leader with any school due to their enrollment figures.

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