ESB, consolidation isn’t enough

Local News

The Erie School Board officially approved a consolidation plan, but it may not be enough to get the district out of the budget deficit.

The consolidation plans makes way for the merger of three high schools into Erie High School, as well as the closure of Wayne and Emerson-Gridley Elementary schools.  The plan would save the district about $6 million dollars, or just under $4 million after the cost of debt services.

The School Board is expected to pass a balanced budget next week, but they are still looking at ways to find money.  Some options include seeking state funding, increasing tuition at Collegiate Academy and increasing taxes by half of a percent.

Frank Petrungar, President of the Erie School Board, says, “I do not want to raise taxes, but to kind of put it in a way, but the state wants us to show that we have skin in the game. We’re hearing good things. We don’t know what’s going to happen. But if it helps us to get where we need to be, it’s something that we have to do.”

The board has not yet voted on seeking tax increases.  That vote is scheduled for next Wednesday.

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