The Horseheads area meets tonight to weigh a school merger with the Elmira Heights Central School District. It’s the last community input session before an initial vote on Dec. 3. Elmira Heights Superintendent Mary Beth Fiore explained the benefits of merging in a meeting in her district last week.
“Clearly, consolidation would provide more educational opportunities and programs than the programs offered individually by each school,” she said. “The current Horseheads secondary program would be maintained, and high school students from Elmira Heights would have additional course selections to choose from.” The state also gives districts extra money for a few years if they successfully merge.
Recently, however, mergers have been hard to pass in many New York districts. Three Hornell-area schools rejected a proposal just this fall. Community attachment to local schools is often a major hurdle.
If the Horseheads and Elmira Heights proposal passes in December, a second, final, vote will be scheduled. Tuesday’s meeting is at 7 p.m. in the Horseheads High School multi-purpose room.