Exeter board votes ‘no' to merger

News photos by Emily Thiel Exeter-Antietam merger vote meeting was held April 15.
News photos by Emily Thiel Exeter-Antietam merger vote meeting was held April 15.

The Exeter Township School Board of Directors voted against the motion for a merger with the Antietam School District April 15. Satisfying the Exeter residents’ requests, the board voted 8-0, with one abstention, not to go through with a full merger.

The board did however, unanimously vote that the Superintendents of both districts work together to find areas where services could be shared.

Sharing of services was just one of the options produced from the merger study, in addition to a regionalized school, full merger, or taking no action. With a full merger, budgetary speculations presented at an earlier board meeting suggested higher taxes, and a loss of profit for the district down the line.

Board member Joseph Staub stated his reasons for voting against a full merger were from an economic standpoint, to not cause disruption to the students and the uncertainty down the road.

“We should not continue the mistakes of the past and let a the issue of collaboration sit idle until it comes up again,” Michael Jupina, board member, said encouraging the board to continue forward.

“I will do all that I can to push our board and district leadership to work together to find and execute those opportunities.”

Exeter can offer advanced placement courses and sports opportunities for Antietam students and will continue to see where services can be shared.

Residents spoke to the board in opposition of a full district merge, but were on the same page as the board with sharing services.

“Put some thought into shared services,” Lisa Wilder, Exeter Township resident, said during public comment. Wilder suggested that sharing is a “creative way of thinking and [will] help solve a problem.”

Exeter and Antietam districts will continue to find where services can be shared.

A school board community forum is scheduled for 7 p.m. April 29 at the administration building. Check online at www.exeter.k12.pa.us for updates.

Follow The Southern Berks News on Twitter and Instagram @sthrnberksnews, Tout @southernberksnews and ‘Like’ us on Facebook!

About the Author

Emily Thiel

Emily Thiel is the editor of The Southern Berks News and is the Community Engagement Editor for Berks-Mont Newspapers. Emily joined Berks-Mont in March 2013. She graduated from Kutztown University in 2011 with a degree in English with a concentration in Cultural and Media Studies. Emily is a native of Allentown, Pa. Reach the author at ethiel@berksmontnews.com or follow Emily on Twitter: @sthrnberksnews.