Friday, May 30, 2008

Beaver County Schools Merger

Merger committees for the Center and Monaca school districts in Beaver County have agreed to a plan for a voluntary merger. They approved a proposal presented by Dr. Daniel Matsook, Superintendent of Center public schools. This follows more than two years of talks. Both districts would be brought together over a two year span starting with the elementary schools (K-5) the first year in the fall of 2009. Dr. Matsook says since the elementary school buildings
in Center are in better shape, they would house elementary students from both districts. Then in 2010, the Monaca and Center districts would have a building separately for secondary students (6-12). That would give another year to bring in a consultant to do a facilities study on the buildings.

Initial studies indicated the districts would realize a savings of $1.5 million dollars, with 5 to 6 mills of tax reduction for taxpayers. Dr. Matsook says some other issues still have to be worked out. One is the mercantile tax in Center Township. He says the township is home to the Beaver Valley Mall which brings in quite a bit of revenue for the tax. He say they are looking to the state to make sure that revenue does not go away.

Next for the Center and Monaca school districts merger will be a hearing by the state board of education in Beaver County in July. The state board of education will then make a recommendation to the Pennsylvania Secretary of Education in September. Pending final approval, Dr. Matsook says the date for the official merger would be set for July 1, 2009.
The two school boards are expected to hold separate meetings on the merger June 12.

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