Unification Plan for Two Bishop School Districts

Two plans, one almost certain, the other less so, could save money for local schools.

With the retirement of Bishop High School District Superintendent Maggie Kingsbury next year, Barry Simpson is set to take over the job, while also staying on at his current job as Bishop Elementary School District Superintendent.

The idea behind having one superintendent for two districts is to save money. There are other dollar pinching plans in the works as well. The school boards of both districts plan to look at whether or not a unification of the two districts into one would save even more money.

Simpson explained that unification of the school districts has been looked at before, and that its a little bit odd to have two small school districts across from each other, when most communities have a unified kindergarten through 12th grade district.

The idea is to look at whether or not the cost savings can, put more money in the classroom by looking at a unified school district model rather then running two separate organizations, Simpson said.

Of the two money saving ideas, the Bishop Union High School Board is set to vote on the contract to hire Barry Simpson as what will become a dual superintendent Thursday night. The unification process will take longer.

Simpson said that the Inyo County Office of Education plans to study the pros and cons of streamlining the two school districts into one. Once the study is done this summer, the school boards will have to decide whether the possible financial savings are worth it. If the school boards decide to move ahead with unification, Simpson said that process could take an additional two years.


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