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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