To provide residents with information about a potential merger with the Tuckahoe School District, and to answer questions from the community, the Southampton School District will host two forums next week.
The first will be held on Monday, October 21, at the Southampton Cultural Center on Jobs Lane. The second forum will be held Wednesday, October 23, at the Rogers Memorial Library on Windmill Lane. Both meetings will begin at 7 p.m.
Each meeting will be one of the final opportunities for residents to learn about the proposed merger, which has been discussed over the past year, before the first public vote on the issue, which is scheduled for October 29. On that date, both the Tuckahoe and Southampton school districts will have individual, separate votes on the proposal. If either district fails to approve the proposal, the merger will die. If it passes in both districts, it will move on to a joint vote of the two districts’ residents on December 5.
The possibility of the merger has long been discussed, but a study was not begun until last October, when both school boards voted to move forward. According to Tuckahoe Superintendent Chris Dyer, the difficult decision was forced by the financial situation of his district. Mr. Dyer estimates that due to the state-mandated 2-percent cap on tax levy increases, the district will have exhausted all of its reserve funds by the 2015-16 school year.