Michael R. Drahos, Morrisville-Eaton Superintendent of Schools
Date: December 10, 2013
On Tuesday, December 10, 2013 the voters of the Morrisville-Eaton Central School District voted 339-163 to accept the following referendum:
Should the Hamilton Central School District and the Morrisville-Eaton Central School District be joined together as a single district by centralization?
While the vote in our district was affirmative the Hamilton Central District voters voted no by a vote of 720-249, which means the merger process between our two districts comes to an end. The advisory vote concludes a two-year process, whereby both districts examined options to respond to the cuts in state aid and subsequent cuts in educational staff and programs. The results of the vote tonight do nothing to diminish the strong collaborative working relationship between our two schools. We will continue to work together, and with our other neighboring districts, to create mutual opportunities for our students and share the cost of educating students in rural New York.
The Morrisville-Eaton Board of Education and administrative staff is moving forward with developing a 2014-2015 budget which can be supported by the community and provide a quality education for our students. While we expect a slight increase in state aid, we anticipate that we will need to make further cuts in order to respond to rising costs.The defeated merger with Hamilton means that a long-range fiscal plan needs to be developed which will be both sustainable and supportive of our district’s mission. During the public information period the idea of merging with another neighboring district was discussed. We will investigate that option. However, if there is not interest in one of those districts, or if the idea lacks the support from the Morrisville-Eaton community we need to be prepared to go forward with a financial plan that is self-sustaining. Another idea discussed has been a long term phase-out of the Edward R. Andrews Building. Before anything like that happens we will need to thoroughly study the potential savings and ensure that any such decision is done in a way that our educational mission is not compromised. As we have done throughout this process, the Board of Education and administrative team will continue to work publicly and openly with our community in this effort.