N.J. may look into logistics of merging school districts

A New Jersey lawmaker wants to create a task force to help the state’s nearly 600 school districts evaluate the benefits of merging.

The small districts can cost taxpayers big money, said Assemblywoman Donna Simon.

“There are some school districts that are so small that they don’t have a high school or a middle school. Some really barely have an elementary school,” she said. “So merging and dovetailing resources are a benefit for everybody.”

The task force would examine the complexities of consolidation, including the financing of feasibility studies, and possibly spreading the upfront costs of a merger over time, said Simon, R-Somerset.

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She said she hopes the panel would make recommendations that will encourage districts to combine.

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