Cutting costs, saving money and providing the best quality education is a main objective for all school districts.
In recent years, there has been numerous cuts to staff at the Hamburg and Frontier School Districts. So much so that providing that quality education while offering residents a budget that is reasonable each year is becoming increasingly difficult.
Now, each school board has another daunting task ahead of them, which is deciding who is going to be the next superintendent of schools for each district. Steven Achramovitch recently resigned with the intent to retire on Aug. 10, which led to the Hamburg School Board choosing to place him on administrative leave, effectively ending his term immediately.
Now, on July 9, Frontier Superintendent James Bodziak dropped a bombshell at the Frontier organizational meeting as he announced his plans to retire on Sept. 9.
Suddenly, there are two open positions and some difficult decisions ahead.
From time-to-time, you hear the thought that maybe the two districts should merge into one. It is a sentiment that is often backed away from because they are already two separate districts with separate superintendents under contract.
So what we would like to know is, can it hurt to at least get together as boards and throw the idea out there to discuss? After all, these are two soon-to-be vacant positions.
This could be an opportunity to potentially have one superintendent for the two districts, while not forcing someone out of a job.
Now is a great time for the two boards to get together and at the very least, throw that idea out there. Achramovitch and Bodziak will be gone a few months from now. That is already decided.
Many teachers and personnel have been laid off in recent years.
We are not saying merging the two districts is necessarily the right answer. But we would like to see a study completed to see if this is a possibility and what kind of potential savings it could mean to each district.
It is not often when both superintendents exit at the same time. But if there is a chance that the quality of education can be enhanced, we believe both boards owe taxpayers the right to explore the idea.
You hate to lose the potential of a natural rival such as the Bulldogs vs. the Falcons. But even worse, students have been watching quality educators leave the districts due to financial constraints.
Times change. Sometimes the traditional route can not sustain and thinking of a new approach is warranted.
If there are ways of reducing administrative costs in an effort to bring back teachers, children would benefit and the districts could benefit.
We know it is not just simply a case that it can be done. There are a lot of factors to consider, including the total number of schools and students in each district. Can one person reasonably handle the same workload two people have for all of these years?
This is the beginning phase for both districts. There are many things to consider before we can definitely say one way or another that we would support the idea of moving to one superintendent or possibly merging these two districts into one.
Mainly what we would like to see, along with many other possibilities, is that this is put on the respective tables for some discussion.
It is a rare circumstance that both Hamburg and Frontier are starting a superintendent search process at the same time.
With both districts having seen tremendous staffing cuts, we encourage both boards to find a time to meet jointly and see if one leader over both districts is something worthy of exploring.