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Weighing the Pros and Cons of School District Consolidation in Crawford County

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Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 12:00 PM

The six school districts of Crawford County will be high on the list of districts that a study group could recommend for consolidation, the Bucyrus Telegraph Forum reports. Governor John Kasich has asked the Legislature to create a commission to study the feasibility of consolidating school districts in Ohio.

Crawford County in rural north-central Ohio has six school districts with 19 schools enrolling a total of about 7,000 students. Wynford Junior High, the county's smallest school, has less than 200 students, while Bucyrus Secondary School, the county's largest, has about 800. (Bucyrus' Class of 2010 numbered 98.)

The Telegraph Forum finds objections with the parts of consolidation that would involve closing schools or eliminating administrators, but the superintendents they spoke with seemed receptive to sharing services as a way to cut costs:

"Countywide technology and curriculum coordinators might be a good idea. One position overseeing all the curriculums for a salary of about $100,000 would mean each school foots one-sixth of the bill. Or, break it down by population and pay it that way -- with Galion and Bucyrus paying the lion's share.

The same goes for technology, which would be easier as each school, in theory, would work with the same systems and could be monitored by one person who does the purchasing, upgrades and maintenance."

But changes that involve sports or superintendents seem to be off the table:

"In the past, the idea of having one superintendent for all the schools was brought up, but until the day comes that all six superintendents retire or leave at the same time, and while all of the schools belong to different conferences, that might not work."

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