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Letter: A half-step toward school mergers

Students sit in the front hallway at Southampton

Students sit in the front hallway at Southampton High School in Southampton to protest the defeat of a proposed merger with the nearby Tuckahoe School District. (Nov. 1, 2013) Credit: Gordon M. Grant

I was impressed by the statements made by high school students about district consolidation in your "Notebook" section ["Students examine both sides of LI's school merger debate," LI Life, Jan. 4].

Every student presented well-thought remedies, but I would like to make these suggestions to help them reach their goals: Take five school districts next to each other. Keep the existing school boards, and create a board of administration that would oversee all matters except curriculum.

Each school district would have a representative on the board of administration to coordinate planning and help consolidate purchasing, oversee hiring, coordinate with union representatives and handle all matters not applicable to our children's classroom experience.

This would allow the elimination of some administration and clerical duties in each district. With this approach, districts would remain independent and still have local boards addressing students needs.

I served from 1984 to 1992 as a Uniondale school board member, and I found myself spending most of my effort on administrative matters. I would have been happier discussing the students.

Patrick M. Demery, Deer Park