Local News

Orange County Schools Consider Possible Merger With Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools

Posted December 5, 2003

— Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools are among the state's best, but talk of merging the system with Orange County Schools has some parents outraged.

"I think that it would be a smart move. From what I understand, Chapel Hill have a lot more opportunities for the children and I think it would be a good move," parent Sherri Johnston said.

"I'm opposed to it. I don't want the values of the Chapel Hill school system which I believe are too liberal, forced upon my children in this school system," parent Sharon Wilson said.

One of the reasons for the merger talk is money. A district tax in Chapel Hill and Carrboro provides a $12 million windfall to their school system. There is no such district tax for Orange County Schools.

Another option officials are looking at is creating a district tax for Orange County schools.

"We can't afford to have it business as usual and we will be able to have a district tax in our school district as soon as possible," said Keith Cook, chairman of the Orange County Board of Education.

The superintendent of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools thinks each system should have its own district tax. He also thinks students should be able to choose between the systems.

On Thursday, the two boards of education are both holding public hearings to talk about the options.

This is not the first attempt to merge the two systems. The measure has failed to win the support of the Orange County commissioners in the past.


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