Carlynton School District Invites Informal Merger Talks

CARNEGIE (KDKA) — A local school district is thinking about merging because of proposed state budget cuts.

Michael Panza, superintendent of schools in the Carlynton School District, sent a letter to other districts, asking just for a meeting in light of proposed budget cuts.

Keystone Oaks says they are officially still deciding whether to accept the offer to meet. A Chartiers Valley spokesman has said he doesn’t believe their board is interested.

The Montour superintendent told KDKA’s Harold Hayes that since Montour has the lowest tax rate of the four, it would be hard to make such a plan work for them.

Still, Bob Strauss, professor of economics and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University, said no matter what you think of the governor’s budget proposal, it got people’s attention.

“There’s going to need to be some creativity and some flexibility, but I really think that these kinds of voluntary conversations are very healthy,” Strauss says, “and really to the governor’s credit, he has got the General Assembly and everybody in some combination of shock and awe.”

The four districts involved represent 15 local municipalities.

“Everybody says, ‘Now wait a second. You’re facing a lot of pressures in the private sector.’ We’re facing them here at the university,” Strauss said. “So it’s really incumbent on government to schools and municipalities to start thinking about joining in various ways to do things better.”

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Carlynton School District
Carnegie Mellon University

Comments

One Comment

  1. So Sad.. says:

    I really think that it is ridiculous that our govenor has cut the education budget to the point that school districts are now talking about merging together to save expenses. Our stae cuts are hurting children and families–it is disgusting to me. Meanwhile, our legislators have tax paid cars, healthcare, pensions, great salaries, and stippend of $160/day (everyday) to spend on lunch–where are these people eating???? Cut the legislator’s perks before you cut from children and families.

    1. Tyrell says:

      Oh my goodness! Cutting out politicians’ transportation, healthcare, part of their salary, and their ability to eat exquisite cuisine at taxpayers’ expense is outrageous! We can’t do that. But in all honesty, those despicable things aside, the state is in a budget crisis. I disagree with the cuts on education as a graduate student myself, but something had to be cut and there was going to be someone upset by it. I think a wait and see approach to this is better than a radical reposte. Change fo better or worse doesn’t happen overnight.

    2. Carrie says:

      BLAME THE OLD GOVERNOR FOR THIS! DID WE REALLY NEED CASINOS? YOU REALLY HAVE NOT IDEA WHAT YOUR TALKING ABOUT!

  2. Carlynton Parent says:

    As an involved parent in the Carlynton school district, I can assure you that these merger discussions have NOTHING to do with the budget cuts and EVERYTHING to do with the efforts of a rouge superintendant and a slim school board majority to punish the communities of Crafton, Carnegie, and Rosslyn Farms for not supporting the superintendant’s plan (approved by a 5-4 board majority) to close our two high-performing COMMUNITY elementary schools in favor of building a “bigger, better, newer” consolidated school elsewhere (at a price tag exceeding $30M mind you). While I cannot debate the effect these proposed budget cuts are going to have, Carlynton is in a better position than many metro-Pittsburgh schools right now in that we have a $12 MILLION budget SURPLUS! Yes, the cuts will affect us in the long run, but not in such a way as it indicates that we need to merge to survive. Again, Dr. Panza and certain school board members are using this as a scare tactic to punish the very vocal community outcry that has been ongoing for the past year over the school closure. Don’t support our plan for a new consolidated elementary school? Fine. We’ll merge you into another district – community desires be damned. Look at the minutes from the school board meetings over the past 6 – 12 months and you will see the truth behind these “discussions.”

    1. So Sad... says:

      I think it is sad that school districts want to get rid of neighborhood schools and create giant buildings…they ruin the school environment like that. Small, neighborhood school usually are higher performing because they have smaller class sizes, a community feel, better parent envolvement, and the school itself is like a little family–everybody knows everybody in the buiding and everyone looks out for one another. Once you start merging two schools together, you lose all the things that helped suport the student success. I saw this happen first hand at Pgh Public schools when they merged a bunch of schools…many small schools that performed high before the merger, ended up as low performing schools after the merger. so sad…

    2. Ed says:

      I didn’t know we had a 12 million dollar surplus in out district. Why do we have a surplus give me back my tax money then!!

  3. I FEEL SORRY FOR THE KIDS says:

    30 MILLION DOLLARS THIS NEW SCHOOL WOULD HAVE COST, AND I’VE HAD TOO MANY VERY BAD EXPERIENCES WITH THIS SCHOOL DISTRICT AND IF YOU ONLY KNEW YOU WOULD BE TOTALLY SHOCKED AND GOD HELP YOU IF YOU REQUEST THEIR ASSISTANCE THEY ACT LIKE YOUR BOTHERING THEM ESPECIALLY DR. PANZA.

    1. I hear ya... says:

      I hear what your saying…when I emailed Dr. Panza about doing an non-paid internship for graduate school there, he never even bothered to reply to my email. When i resent it, He replied but acted like I had bothered him.

  4. Craig Conley says:

    I went to Carlynton from K-7th grade, and then Keystone Oaks from 8 -12.
    If the merger happens, all I can say is I feel sorry for the parents that would have to drive from Crafton to Castle Shannon to pick up their kid from a sleep over or vice versa for the Castle Shannon parents.

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