Downsizing Advocate Now Targeting Schools

May 12, 2011 Updated May 12, 2011 at 6:55 PM EDT

By Kendra Eaglin

May 12, 2011 Updated May 12, 2011 at 6:55 PM EDT


Kevin Gaughan is a local attorney and government downsizing activist who now wants to consolidate school districts. At the heart of Gaughan's initiative are the skyrocketing property taxes Erie County residents pay. He argues that despite the fact that Erie County has lost hundreds of thousands in population over the past 10 years, the amount of paid politicians and administrators has not decreased.

Gaughan sent a letter to New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, detailing his proposal which would allow voters to decide whether to consolidate school districts.

The letter specifically outlines that only district administration offices would be consolidated under the plan , not individual school administrators, instructors, or employees.

Gaughan says he has done the research to back up his case, saying that nearly 90 percent of Erie County's 29 school districts have seen a drop in enrollment.

Gaughan drafted a bill he hopes will be presented to lawmakers in Albany through what is known as a Citizen Initiative.