4 Madison County school districts consider mergers

Four school districts in southern Madison County are considering merging into two separate districts. The schools cite declining state aid, enrollment and economic hard times as motivating factors.

Officials from Morrisville-Eaton, Hamilton, Stockbridge Valley and Madison school districts have applied for grants to launch feasibility studies into potential mergers. One study will examine a merger between Morrisville-Eaton and Hamilton, the other would look at combining Madison with Stockbridge Valley.

Originally there was talk of combining all four districts into one, but districts realized that property tax levies would make that unpractical. If the studies recommend merging the four districts into two, voter referendums would have to approve the idea in the fall of 2012. Actual mergers would not take place until July of 2013.

Click here to download a map of the four districts in Madison County, plus a press release from the Morrisville-Eaton school superintendent.

School superintendents realize that such a merger could be a hard sell, but point out that the state is offering a 40% increase in state aid over five years for districts that decide to merge. That could lower property taxes in the area significantly.