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Auburn Union, Placer Hills boards examine possible merger

By: Loryll Nicolaisen, Journal staff writer
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A merger between the Auburn Union Elementary and Placer Hills Union school districts could result in stronger program offerings, but might not provide the financial bailout either district may need. Administrators and trustees from the two Auburn-area districts met Tuesday night to discuss, for the first time as two full school boards, the possibility of district reorganization. “If we’re going to be joining, what’s the potential upside of doing something between the districts?” asked Clark Gehlbach, Auburn Union board president. “What is it going to get us? How is it going to help both our districts?” Michele Schuetz, Auburn Union superintendent, said revenue from a merger between the two districts wouldn’t be as strong as initially thought. “Where we thought the benefits would be is programs,” she said. Fred Adam, Placer Hills superintendent, shared a similar thought. “From the programmatic side, when we’re looking at programs that add to the students’ experiences, we think we can develop better programs at some cost savings,” Adam said. “You’re not going to see $1 million in savings that will solve everything between the two districts.“ While no action was taken at Tuesday’s informational meeting, both boards meet in regular session next week, at which time they are scheduled to continue discussing the possible merger, Schuetz and Adam said. See Thursday’s Journal for additional details. Reach Loryll Nicolaisen at lorylln@goldcountrymedia.com.