The Oppenheim-Ephratah Central School District will once again vote Tuesday to decide if a merger with St. Johnsville Central School District is what is best for our district. I encourage everyone to come out and vote based on the facts presented by the merger study as well as both school boards and not on the hearsay and rumors that are being spread throughout the community.
A few things that we should all keep in mind:
A merged school district would have to elect an entirely new school board. This school board could consist of as many or as few O-E or St. Johnsville residents as the merged district voters decide. There is no guarantee that any current board members would be elected to a new merged school board.
The new merged school board would make any and all decisions for the new district using the merger study as a guide. There are no contracts or guarantees already in place for staffing or salaries.
A merged district would still be considered a small school, but would allow our children the opportunity to not only get a better education by offering more courses, but also to make friends and meet new teachers who could have a great effect on them.
And finally, the combined band and sports teams have the potential to be even greater than they already are. We all know how good the band in O-E is. How do we know that the band in St. Johnsville isn't just as good? Imagine the potential if we were to combine these.
I hope that before voting, everyone has a chance to read the merger study that was done by an independent company. The merger study can be found on both school districts' websites and a printed copy can be obtained by calling either school. Also, you can find someone who was on the merger committee and ask them for the facts.
Based on all of this and as a member of the Oppenheim-Ephratah district, I will be voting "yes" when I walk into the voting booth Tuesday.