On the horizon - and already taking hold - are many changes in the way we think about education. Financial troubles are hitting home for our districts, threatening programs a few years ago we would have thought were safe.
As the difficulties continue, our area has seen a lot of turnover at the top of our districts.
Gloversville, Johnstown, Canajoharie, Wheelerville and Wells have new superintendents. Fonda-Fultonville, Northville and soon Mayfield will look for new permanent leadership. In addition, the St. Johnsville-Oppenheim merged district will hire a new superintendent.
This is just in our area.
The state School Board Association website lists 13 openings for superintendent jobs. In addition, several open principal and other administrative positions are listed.
We need to attract the best candidates to our districts, but it's difficult to compete with larger and wealthier districts, which have more resources and offer more programs.
Local districts' difficulty in keeping good administrators is another reason more neighboring districts should consider merging with each other. The larger, merged districts can afford to pay a little more for superintendents and principals, offer more programs and save money. In addition, larger districts are more attractive to many administrators who are looking for jobs.
Voters recently approved the merger of the St. Johnsville and Oppenheim-Ephratah districts. The merged district soon will see the benefits of the decision.
Local schools should have top talent leading them to help our students receive the best education possible. If districts need to merge to attract the talent, then the districts and voters should consider the possibility.