York County House Republicans Request Study of Possible Public School Consolidation

YORK – The York County House Republican delegation’s request to have Pennsylvania’s Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) examine the possible taxpayer benefits associated with merging the administrative functions of the county’s public schools has been accepted. Results of the pending analysis will be made available in late 2014.

The delegation members, House Majority Whip Stan Saylor (R-Red Lion), and Reps. Seth Grove (R-Dover), Keith Gillespie (R-Hellam), Ron Miller (R-Jacobus), Mike Regan (R-Dillsburg) and Will Tallman (R-Hanover), issued the following statement as part of a news conference at the York County School of Technology:

“The costs associated with running public schools has been a hot-button topic for many years. During his February 2009 address to the General Assembly, then-Gov. Ed Rendell urged consolidation of Pennsylvania’s 500 school districts into as few as 100. He never acted on that proposal.

“Today, the York County House Republican delegation is announcing a study that will analyze certain aspects of a hypothetical consolidation of the administrative functions of York County’s 15 public school districts, and the possible taxpayer benefits that might be derived from doing so. We would like to emphasize that the results will in no way affect current geographic boundaries of school districts or their athletic programs. This is purely an administrative analysis.

“The debate over merging school districts is not a new one. Possible scenarios for combining schools have been argued for years. Many people quickly cite the county school district concept employed by our neighbors in Maryland. Yet no one has performed a thorough study of what it would actually cost and entail to make changes to the way our school districts do business, and whether or not it would be a benefit to our taxpayers to change the administrative end of education.

“The IFO, a product of Act 120 of 2010, is charged with providing ‘impartial and timely analysis of fiscal, economic and budgetary issues to assist Commonwealth residents and the General Assembly in their evaluation of policy decisions. In that capacity, the IFO will not support or oppose any policy it analyzes, and will disclose all methodologies, data sources and assumptions used in published reports and estimates.’

“In other words, the IFO is the perfect vehicle for performing what is essentially an independent analysis of our school districts for our taxpayers. We have no preconceived notions as to what the study will produce. Our only goal is to take the first-ever good, hard look at the business of education, and determine if it is in the best interest of taxpayers to explore alternatives.”

York County House Republican Delegation
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact:  Scott Little
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