Paris I.S.D talks about consolidation

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PARIS, TX -- Paris I.S.D. officials have proposed merging three Lamar County school districts into one, but not everyone is giving the idea a passing grade.

The Paris I.S.D School Board President says he proposed merging Paris, North Lamar and Chisum school districts together, but he says the other school boards are not interested in consolidating any time soon.

Kevin Kear has four kids in North Lamar Schools and says he does not know if he would be for or against consolidation yet.

"In this particular environment it's more like a diamond. It has multi facets. You're going to have to explore, and this isn't just a one week or one month kind of deal this is a long term exploration," Kear said.

He says it is an emotional topic because administration would probably be cut and there os pros and cons to that.

"From a dollar perspective potentially reducing the overall spend it takes to do that, but from an access perspective for me there are the teachers or the students themselves to those fewer upper level administrators now becomes less because they're stretched thinner," Kear said.

Paris I.S.D School Board President George Fisher says the district would look into consolidating because right now they don't have enough land to expand on, which reduces the tax base and leads to higher taxes.

"One of the reasons is we have a high tax rate within our school district and we want to make sure our kids have the same fair and equity that other school districts have," Fisher said.

Fisher also says coming together could build a stronger community.

"What I would think it would do is to help us to build a broader school base to compete with other larger districts in the state of Texas," Fisher said.

Those against the consolidation site a loss of identity and higher competition in athletics and academics, but Fisher and Kear just hope it will be explored.

"We were hoping for that they would at least sit down and come to the table that we may at least look down the road further to see how we could do this if it came to that," Fisher said.

"It's a difficult choice, but it's one we're going to have to least explore. Not saying we're going to have to go forward with it, but we at least have to explore it," Kear said.

We left a message with both the Chisum and North Lamar School Board Presidents, but our calls for comment have not been returned at this time.