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The Telegram
  • Tangorra to meet with SED regarding merger

  • Ilion School Superintendent Cosimo Tangorra, Jr. expects to have a better idea early next month whether or not the Ilion and Mohawk school districts can move ahead with a merger.

    Tangorra said during a telephone interview he is scheduled to meet with New York State Education Department officials in Albany on Jan. 8, 2013, to discuss the matter.

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  • Ilion School Superintendent Cosimo Tangorra, Jr. expects to have a better idea early next month whether or not the Ilion and Mohawk school districts can move ahead with a merger.
    Tangorra said during a telephone interview he is scheduled to meet with New York State Education Department officials in Albany on Jan. 8, 2013, to discuss the matter.
    The Herkimer, Ilion and Mohawk boards of education passed separate resolutions several weeks ago calling on state Education Commissioner John King, Jr. to rescind the order that laid out a central school district designated as the Herkimer-Ilion-Mohawk Central School District.
    The order was rescinded on Dec. 14, according to Tangorra.
    “If anything is to happen, it’s up to the commissioner to lay out a two-district merger,” he said.
    If that happens, Tangorra said, “some kind of time line would be set, probably sooner rather than later.”
    The Ilion and Mohawk school boards began discussing their options after Herkimer voters rejected a three-school merger proposal by fewer than 200 votes in October, while Mohawk and Ilion voters approved the plan by substantial margins.
    According to state education law, after a binding referendum fails, school districts are to do nothing in terms of reorganizing for a year and a day. But, the Ilion and Mohawk school boards on Oct. 24 passed resolutions to ask for special legislation that would allow another vote to take place sooner than permitted under current law.
    Tangorra said at a meeting earlier this month that if King rescinded the order, the districts would be able to offer voters another referendum without special legislation from the state Legislature.
    The original merger plan in August 2009 involved the Ilion and Mohawk school districts, but soon afterward Frankfort-Schuyler and Herkimer were added to the study. Frankfort-Schuyler voters rejected a four-school merger in an advisory vote on Jan. 19 and Herkimer voters rejected a three-school merger in an Oct. 18 binding vote. A search is currently under way for a new Herkimer school superintendent.

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