DiFonzo: Officials receptive to school programs list idea

Superintendents across Chautauqua County seem receptive to the Fredonia Central School Board of Education’s proposal to publicly list all county high school programs currently provided, as well as their enrollment numbers, according to Fredonia’s top official.

Superintendent Paul DiFonzo announced at a recent board of education meeting he spoke with Erie 2 BOCES District Superintendent Dr. David O’Rourke and other colleagues about Fredonia’s intentions, which would expose opportunities for districts across the county to merge struggling programs and sustain them.

“They were positive about getting the information together,” DiFonzo said. “There was an understanding it can’t be all about (state) aid (in keeping our schools afloat) because everyone understands enrollment has been dropping, and I think we all see that there are many districts taking steps to share services right now.”

O’Rourke is currently working on putting a committee together to gather enrollment and other relevant program information across the county’s high schools. The goal, DiFonzo said, is to begin collecting data once budget season is over and have it completely compiled by the start of the next school year.

“That way, we can do a comparative study and find out what we can do to better address the problem,” DiFonzo concluded. “I will bring back information (to the board) as I receive it from that committee.”

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