It’s a tune the Antietam School District has heard before: The district is once again exploring the possibility of merging with Exeter Township School District.
This is not the first time the neighboring districts have considered merging, nor the second. Or even the third. The idea has been discussed, repeatedly, as far back as the 1960s.
And for some Antietam residents, the history of failed mergers clouds their opinion of a new consideration.
“I don’t think they’ll merge,” said Brandy High, a Lower Alsace Township mother with two children in Antietam schools. “They’ve been saying it for a long time and never did.”
Roy, Roy, Roy, thank you SO MUCH for posting! I wish more schools in PA would explore the opportunity and efficiencies that can be gained by merging. Thanks for all you do!
Some SDs have done this and, no doubt, gone through growing pains and restructured to become better off in the long run. No, it’s not necessarily a bandwagon to just “hop on” but combining resources does have advantages.
Some might suggest bigger isn’t better, but the ‘way of the one room school house’ (figuratively speaking) leaves few options for creative budgeting, putting programs and classroom size at risk. Big fish, small pond or small fish, big pond?
Being an ‘area’ school district can even make a county line seem unimportant. Local examples of this can be seen in neighboring Spring-Ford and Boyertown Area SDs.
Though it isn’t a perfect solution, and not one for some at all, this isn’t a perfect world and the system in PA could use an overhaul – to be sure!!
People say “buy local” but what is local, really? Is it 5 blocks, 20 blocks, 5 miles, 20 miles or even as far as a full tank of gas? There are no pop-up walls at municipal or county borders so as we redefine what is important to protect when resources and jobs are scarce doesn’t it become an urgent matter, then, to broaden our definition of local to retain the things that are important and worth fighting for?
Merging is a scary proposition and out of the comfort zone for many but to explore it is a task that, I think, displays the courage and creativity necessary for breaking barriers and increasing the power of the local resources to partner and create opportunities for many.