School Consolidation

Steps are being taken for a possible consolidation of the Dothan City and Houston County school systems.

Former Houston County school board chairman Gerald Crowley went before the County Commission and recommended taking a serious look at consolidating the Houston county and Dothan city school systems.

Both systems have been hard-hit by proration in recent years. But an effort to ease the crunch by raising taxes was rejected by voters earlier this week. Crowley said merging the two school systems could at least cut administrative costs.

Crowley wants a panel to conduct a feasibility study, and county commission chairman Mark Culver said the idea has merit. Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce chairman Mike Schmitz volunteered to help start the project, but no timetable has been set. However, officials hope to have a panel in place in the near future.

Culver said similar studies have been done in other parts of the state, but the amount of money saved did not always justify the consolidation.