3bc04670-3a04-41cc-99cd-c2798fbbbfb1-backtoschool_08192019_004(Asheville Citizen-Times)  So, should Asheville City Schools and Buncombe County Schools finally merge?  The longstanding debate arose once more at the Feb. 5 Asheville City Council Primary Forum. No question posed during the forum’s “lightning round” proved more divisive. When asked, three candidates held up large “Yes” cards while the other six flashed “No.”

Most of North Carolina’s 100 counties contain one school district. Asheville is one of 15 city districts within a surrounding county system. To the east, people are now asking whether single-county behemoth districts like Wake County (161,000 students) and Mecklenburg County (147,000 students) should be broken up into multiple, smaller districts. Yet Buncombe residents and local politicians keep wondering the opposite.

In the past, district mergers were often considered through a financial lens. Supporters argued having one larger county district would eliminate duplicate administration positions and create more advantageous economies of scale. In 2009 and 2011, state legislators proposed slimmer budgetary bills that would’ve forced consolidation. Neither measure succeeded.

Read the full report by Brian Gordon HERE>