School superintendents talk district mergers

Published 4:16 pm Monday, January 18, 2016



School superintendents from Hyde, Tyrrell and Washington counties reviewed “recent legislation regarding district mergers” in a special meeting in Plymouth January 5, Dr. Will Hoffman, Tyrrell superintendent, stated.

“While there is very little probability that we will see overall district mergers, superintendents are exploring ways that programs could potentially merge to cut costs for school systems,” Dr. Hoffman stated after his meeting with Dr. Delilah Jackson of Washington County and Dr. Randolph Lattimore of Hyde.

“The goal of the meeting was to begin to look at which programs, if any, could have one administrator serving the entire three county area,” Dr. Hoffman explained.

The superintendents are to meet again on February 11.

The North Carolina General Assembly last year gave the State Board of Education authority “to consolidate and merge contiguous county school administrative units or a group of county school administrative units in which each county unit is contiguous with at least one other county unit in the group.”

The State Board must adopt a written plan setting forth the conditions of the merger.

A merger of county units and reorganization of those units under the new law shall not have the effect of abolishing any special taxes that may have been voted in any such units, according to G.S. 115C-66.5.

A merger shall become effective on July 1 immediately following the adjournment of the next regular session of the General Assembly after the State Board approves the merger.

The General Assembly retains power to disapprove a merger through its normal legislative process. The statute is silent on the effect of a gubernational veto.