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WHEATFIELD – The Niagara USA Chamber, the county’s largest business group, issued a statement Friday urging the county’s 10 school districts to explore consolidation.

Christopher Boron of Lockport, the Chamber’s new president, said the voters’ defeat of budgets Tuesday at Niagara Wheatfield, Lewiston-Porter and Wilson shows that cost-sharing is the only way of the districts’ budgetary problems. He said that doesn’t necessarily mean district mergers.

“Consolidation can mean sharing business officers or athletic directors, looking for different ways to deliver special education or sharing staff,” Boron said. “Without restructuring how services are delivered, the only choice is to just cut. … Eventually there is nothing left to cut, and the students suffer.”

The only major move toward consolidation at present is this month’s decision of the Royalton-Hartland and Barker districts to use the same superintendent, Barker’s Roger J. Klatt, for at least a year, starting July 1. Roy-Hart Superintendent Kevin MacDonald took another job and is leaving at the end of the school year.