Glens Falls and Abe Wing school districts studying merger
Despite its relatively small size, Glens Falls is a city with two school districts within its boundaries. As YNN's Matt Hunter reports, administrators from both schools are once again exploring the possibility of a merger.
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GLENS FALLS, N.Y. – "I love Abraham Wing [School], the teachers are really great here," said Howard Morgan, whose son is a third grader.
"I love the school, it does wonderful things for the kids," mother of three Teresa Hammond said.
"It's more of a family atmosphere, everybody is down to earth," said Debbie Hamelin, who has one child in the school and another who previously attended.
You'll be hard pressed to get too many complaints from parents about their child's education at the independent Abraham Wing School District in Glens Falls.
However, if you ask those same parents whether they'd like to see the school keep its independent status, more often than not, you'll get a resounding "no."
"I feel we should definitely merge, absolutely," Hamelin said.
"I don't have a problem with it at all," Morgan said.
"A lot of us parents have grouped together because we really do want the merger," Hammond said.
All of the district's students, grades K through six, attend school in the same building. When they graduate, some are bused to South Glens Falls or Hudson Falls, while most head to the Glens Falls City School District, where they're charged tuition until graduation.
Over the course of the next six months, parents, teachers and administrators from both districts will conduct a joint study to examine the feasibility of merging the two schools together.
"My hope is the study brings out information, good information for both communities to see what would happen if the two districts were to consolidate," said Paul Jenkins, superintendent of the Glens Falls City School District.
Each district has put together its own 10 member committee, which will work side by side with an outside consulting firm.
According to Glens Falls Superintendent Paul Jenkins, if the two schools merged, the Glens Falls district would receive a 40 percent increase in state aid for five years, with a gradually declining boost over the following ten.
While some parents have expressed concern about losing familiarity, others have found reasons to support the merger.
"The amount of money that they're paying for tuition to go to Glens Falls is ridiculous. If we merged, that doesn't happen anymore," Hammond said.
"By the time they get over to the [Glens Falls] middle school, there's already the kids from the other schools there,” Hamelin said. “They're behind, I think, in a lot of different ways."
Abe Wing residents will vote on the merger next March, following six monthly public meetings. The first was scheduled for Wednesday night.
For more information on the study, visit the Glens Falls City School District’s official website at gfsd.schoolfusion.us.