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Hunterdon County Looks To Consolidate Schools [AUDIO]

Hunterdon County leaders are exploring the idea of consolidating the county’s more than two dozen school districts into a single county-wide district.

Hunterdon Schools
www.co.hunterdon.nj.us

“The potential tax savings are huge…savings on busing, savings on transportation costs, on special education teacihers, it makes a lot of sense” said Freeholder Director Rob Walton, who introduced the plan.

The proposal would merge the county’s 30 school districts and their 30 superintendents, staff and school boards.

“We looked at other towns that were of equal size and proportion to Hunterdon across the country to see how they were doing this” said Walton.

Hunterdon spent nearly $400 million on schools in 2010, and Walton says a county-wide district could save over $100 million per year.

Consolidation would eliminate the need for nearly 29 highly paid superintendents. Getting the green light for the plan won’t be easy, each of the districts would have vote to approve it.

New Jersey currently has nearly 600 school districts in 21 counties, the most of several states combined.

“We feel like this would make both educational and financial sense” said Walton.

Governor Christie and Senate President Sweeney are trying to get towns across the state to explore the idea of shared services.

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