Merger Discussion Needs To Continue
A merger of the Panama and Clymer school districts can’t be finalized today, but it could end today.
Residents of the two school districts will take part in a straw vote, or an advisory referendum today from noon-8 p.m. The advisory referendum is a required step in the centralization process and the outcome determines community support in scheduling the binding referendum in January 2018.
The merger is important financially, as both districts are in a position to exhaust their surpluses in less than a decade as they weather the stormy seas of increasing personnel costs and revenues limited by the state tax cap and state aid. The merger is likely important educationally, as both districts have decreased class offerings in the past several years — though voters have no idea yet exactly what types of additional classes would be offered in a merged district.
There are a lot of unknowns right now, as are alluded to on Page 1 of today’s Post-Journal. We hope some of those unknowns can be addressed in the next couple of months before a proposed January referendum vote to merge the schools.
We hope residents in both Panama and Clymer vote yes in the straw vote today. There is nothing to lose and a lot, potentially, to gain. Voting yes today simply continues the conversation – and it is a conversation which, in our view, should continue for another couple of months.