Romulus-South Seneca Merger Comes to a Halt


There will be no Romulus-South Seneca school district merger.

Last night, in front of a full auditorium, the Romulus School Board voted 5 to 2 not to offer a public vote on the merger.

The South Seneca Board of Education last night voted in favor a public vote on the merger question, but both school boards need to approve the vote for the plan to move forward.

Tensions grew throughout the evening as Romulus teachers rallied together in matching shirts and signs pleading to send the vote on the merger to the community. 

Romulus School Board President Robert McCann said, "I had no idea the vote would turn out this way. I didn't decide until 11 a.m. this morning." 

Board member Seth Brandow made a statement prior to the vote saying the study is inconclusive and full of inconsistencies. Brandow also said he would not allow fear of the future of the school to sway his or the communities vote. In voting no, he wished to look into alternatives before giving up on the "small school with the big idea." 

Following the  5-2 vote, the teachers abruptly got up and left the auditorium while President McCann stated, "this meeting is not over."

Voting no were board members Robert McCann, Seth Brandow, Tim Kuryla, Kara Mapstone and Thomas Wilson. James Somerville and Rebecca Jessop voted in favor of sending the merger to the voters. 

 

One community member said, "I am glad this was the result. If we have two years to make a decision why would we rush into a merger. We should be looking at all possibilities instead of making a rash decision out of fear of lost programs or jobs."

South Seneca's board saw things a little differently, voting a unanimous 7 yes's. The question is now, what will happen next? The merger study is valid for two years.  

During the public comment period, one community member said, board members should look at the best interest of the school fiscally as they would their own families and homes. One member of the public asked "if you were on the brink financially at home would you turn over everything to your neighbor; your money, children, and everything you own... cause that is what we are doing here."

A merger, though out of the question for the 2013-2014 school year, may still be revisited by the boards prior to the two years being up.

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