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Southampton, Tuckahoe School Districts to Examine Merger

Districts will hire consulting firm to study the feasibility of consolidating.

With Tuckahoe School District looking to curb costs to taxpayers, and Southampton School District not wanting to lose all of Tuckahoe's ninth- through 12th-graders to another receiving district, the two school districts now plan to study merging into one.

Tuckahoe School District revealed the districts' intention Wednesday morning in statements to the school faculty and to the media.

The districts have had a close relationship for decades, since Tuckahoe School District does not have a high school of its own and therefore sends most of its older students to Southampton High School. But other local school districts, namely Westhampton Beach and Hampton Bays, charge less for out-of-district tuition, which could translate to a lower school tax rate for Tuckahoe residents. Southampton does not want to lose the Tuckahoe students and the income they provide, as it could result in slashing programs from its budget that Southampton students enjoy.

"We are pursuing the feasibility study to maintain continuous improvement in our academic programs at a similar or reduced cost to our taxpayers," wrote Tuckahoe Superintendent Chris Dyer in an email to faculty and media. "The feasibility study’s purposes are to gather information, to research and provide facts to share, and to make recommendations to the two Boards."

According to a statement from the Tuckahoe School District, while many have speculated about the advantages and disadvantages of a merger, the only way to obtain accurate, objective information is through a study by a neutral third party.

  • RELATED: Should Tuckahoe and Southampton School Districts Be Merged?

Dyer noted that a merger was discussed between the districts informally in 2008, and the boards met recently and discussed the tuition rate Tuckahoe is paying to Southampton.

  • RELATED: Tuition at Center of Southampton - Tuckahoe Talks

To find a consulting firm to complete the study and "determine the academic and financial advantages that a merger," both districts will release a request for proposal Wednesday, according to the Tuckahoe statement.

The districts expect to hire a firm in November, with a projected study completion date in January.

Tuckahoe School District noted that just because a study is planned, it does not mean a merger is inevitable; rather, it will be the basis for future decision making.

Dyer invites those interested in the matter to attend the Oct. 22 Tuckahoe School Board business meeting.

David D'Agostino October 20, 2012 at 09:09 PM
Diane, your post is off point. You compare a private boarding school which costs $47,000 a year to Tuckahoe? Why is that relevant? Aside from being overtly smarmy, it does not address my posts in any way whatsoever which asserts that Westhampton Beach is a better high school than Southampton. Your only concern always has been tax dollars, but some of us think of children, ours and others, first.
Diane Sadowski October 21, 2012 at 03:16 PM
I agree, an Exclusive Westhampton is a sound idea. The money saved could go to more opportunites for the Tuckahoe school itself. Just think of how many more teachers and programs could be implemented at Tuckahoe school itself, creating jobs and opportunites for many. Petition for budget proposition anyone?
Diane Sadowski October 21, 2012 at 03:39 PM
David, You dont know me at all. Please dont assume. You are incorrect with your assumptions. I am responding to your comment where you imply that money is no object. And to add for comparison purposes isnt it almost $30,000 a year that we pay per student to go to SH? And what is tuition at Ross? There is no doubt that no matter what school your child goes to, he or she will succeed due to your parent involvement. And I will add, there are many individuals in the community that do not have children in TCSD or for that matter ever had any children at all, but understand the importance and care regarding education for every child and their future.
David D'Agostino October 21, 2012 at 09:18 PM
Please point out to me exactly where I implied money is no object. Give me a freaking break, Ms Sadiwski
Stinker October 22, 2012 at 05:31 PM
When you go to a public school you get the socialist method of teaching. To each according to their needs, from each according to their means. The achievers suffer and the needy sap all of the resources. Those in charge skip away with the $$ and raise the taxes each year. There is currently an entire political party whose president is currently in the oval office and is running on this very platform for re-election. What seems to have everyone so upset?

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