Citizen group calls for annexation to enhance West Valley Schools
The West Valley Central School District has continued to experience a drop in enrollment. There are only about 260 students in pre-K through 12th grade. WBFO's Focus on Education Reporter Eileen Buckley says a citizens committee is now encouraging annexation or partnerships to strengthen school programs.
"A lot of people are holding on to the days when we had 500 people in our school district," said Kevin Murray, a West Valley parent. He is on the Committee for Education Opportunities.
Population shifts in this rural community have meant fewer programs students. The West Valley School Board has already merged its athletics merger with Ellicottville Central Schools, but now the committee is pushing for a annexation or partnership to enhance other school programs.
"I think what we need to accomplish as a group is get the truth out. The numbers don't lie," stated Murray. "This board is listening to us. I think they are going to take the right steps and do the right thing."
Unlike the Buffalo School District, where classrooms are filled with more than 30-students, West Valley has only about 12-students in some grade levels.
"You have a graduating class of 25, begin replaced by a class of 12," noted West Valley resident Orlando Perez. Perez tells WBFO News school taxes have been on the rise.
"And at the last school board meeting they voted unanimously to send a letter to Ellicottville to start an annexation study that would actually bring out the facts, what the numbers would look like," said Perez.
The Committee for Education Opportunities will be hosting a public meeting Thursday, January 7th at 7 p.m. at the Carson's Ashford House to discuss partnerships and mergers.