Where do we go after the merger vote?
With Frankfort-Schuyler's sound defeat of the
proposed four-school merger, residents now ask, "Where do we go from
We move forward according to Ilion Superintendent
of Schools Cosimo Tangorra, Jr.
"I have two goals—one short-term and one
long-term," said Ilion superintendent Cosimo Tangorra, Jr.
Short-term—develop a 2012-13 budget
"First, I will buckle down to create a solid budget that keeps the needs of students and taxpayers in balance. We
cannot lose our focus—we are here to educate our communiy's children."
While the community focused on the proposed merger,
Business Manager Ken Long has been putting together the projected
expenses and revenues for 2012-13. Mr. Tangorra will present the draft
budget to the board of education. The board of education will review
the budget and may chose to adopt it as presented or make changes. On
or before Apr. 20, the board will adopt a proposed budget that
residents will weigh at the annual budget vote on May 15.
Long-term—explore different organizational options
"In the long-term, I will begin looking at all of
the options available to us to provide our valley's students with the
greatest educational opportunities," he said.
That process begins with a joint meeting of the
Ilion, Mohawk and Herkimer boards of education on Saturday, Jan 28.
The boards will weigh the merits of a two-way or three-way merger and
begin steps toward making that happen.
If the boards choose to pursue a merger, the
interested districts would have to modify the previous four-school
merger study and submit it to the State Education Department (SED). If
SED approves the study, the communities would again hold public
information sessions, board votes, an advisory referendum (straw
vote), and a statutory referendum (final or binding referendum).
The earliest a new district could begin operation
would be July 1, 2013.