"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have"
Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Jefferson County Consolidated School System

The New York State Commission on Property Tax Relief final report recommended a force merger for schools with a student body of less than 1,000 and gave the State Education Department the power to merge districts with a population under 2,000.

How does that change Jefferson County?

Well here are the schools and the student body size. The schools ripe for merger are highlighted.

Alexandria Central  654
Belleville-Henderson 531
Carthage    3,022
General Brown 1,585
Indian River 3,557
La Fargeville 568
Lyme 351
Sackets Harbor 482
South Jefferson 2,027
Thousand Islands 1,196
Watertown   4,590 

It could potentially reduce the number of school systems in Jefferson County from 11 to 4. Interestingly even a combined Lyme and LaFargeville system would still be forced to merge yet again under this report's recommendation.

Perhaps a county with five school systems; north, south, east, west and central might even encourage local government to follow suit and merge in the same fashion, just imagine what that would look like, all that bureaucracy gone!

Maybe even a small step forward and merge administrative functions. If Watertown High School can serve 4,590 students with a similar administration as that of a much smaller school, than there is a lot of room for efficiency. The number of students does not necessarily drive the size of the administration, but the number of districts do! 


Anonymous said...

No matter how much logic you coat these ideas with, they will not be implemented. Drop it, IV.

Things have to get much worse before anyone will go along with this kind of stuff. The teachers will not allow it. Their lobby controls our legislature.

Children first.

Anonymous said...

Here is my suggestion

Watertown CSD Stays intact

Indian River Stay intact

South Jeff merges with Bellville Henderson

General Brown merges with Sackets and Part of Lyme

Alexandria and Lafargeville

TI Central and remainder of Lyme

6 School Districts down from 11 Thats about 750K in savings in superintendets alone. Not chicken feed.

Think of the better opportunities for the kids! And for all you parents who are reliving your youth through your kids sports, think of the additional opportunities in that area.

But alas, it will never happen. To many board members will want to retain their turf or afraid to consider consolidation because it will upset their friends.

Sadly, the more likely scenario will be , parents who are revisiting their childhood through sports will vote it down since little Billy won't be a star in a larger district.

I have a kid in a small district. I say force the merger by reducing state aid for small districts while increasing incentives for mergers.

Earthbob said...

Both a countywide and a city school districts makes sense.

Taxing district would be uniform and simpler to assess.

Just two school districts in the county: city and countywide

Should a countywide School Superintendent be elected?

Wouldn't that be interesting?

Anonymous said...


You live in OZ.

How do you stay so optimistic, EB?

This entire thread is a joke.

A well-intentioned joke, but still a joke.

Earthbob said...



Necessity will bring changes if we cannot.

If it doesn't bend it breaks.

We either fix it or we end up replacing it.

Two school districts in our county is a "replacement strategy".

Anonymous said...

This may be a cost savings in some instances but, looking back, I can't see that merging Clayton and Cape Vincent saved the districts any money. Is the suggestion that K-12 be consolidated to one district thereby leaving the present buildings empty or do we still have elementary in one location and middle/high school in another? How is that saving any dollars as we still have transportation, same utilities and upkeep, etc. Or do we spend mega dollars on new facilities to house all of the students in one place? I can't see that there were any cost-savings when Clayton and Cape Vincent merged as the taxpayers still have the burden of maintaining the two facilities along with paying for separate prinicpals, teachers, maintenance staff, school nurse and all of the rest and all of that for a handful of students at Cape Vincent. Consolidation means more miles on the busses so they have to be replaced sooner and be more of them. Duplication of routes as not all students would have the sames schedule. Then we would have more students in one place but that doesn't mean that the teachers' union would allow the classload to be more so we have to have more teachers. I realize that all suggestions have to be explored with an open mind but bigger isn't always better.

Dan Francis said...

What's ironic about this issue is that some of us have been speaking about it years ... like consolidating county services, too. Ever got far - I wonder why not?

I guess to break up those things for obvious efficiency would
"take away" jobs, and not create them, right? Then how would anyone get elected on a promise to create jobs? LOL

Dan Francis said...

JCCSS - nice ring to it?

Anonymous said...

Rumor on the street in Malone is the School District paid $50,000 in advertising for the (now defeated) capital project vote. That number may be exaggerated but
the full page newspaper ads touting the benefits of the project and the impact on local taxes aren't free. What a sham!

When is the waste of taxpayer money going to end!

Anonymous said...

It's funny any consolidation has to come from the State, so a local district couldn't propose to merge with anyone without the state saying it's OK. A larger "plum"of consolidation is all the Villages and Townships, and VFD's in the County being kept alive by the IV of larger govt.

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