Kevin Gaughan has been researching the topic for several years, saying he's concerned about the number of school districts in Erie County, as compared to counties of similar size nationwide.
Gaughan says one reason any consolidation would benefit Erie County is that 17 of its 27 districts have less than three-thousand students.
"... which means they don't have sufficient resources in the rural school districts ... and some suburban districts, including Cheektowaga, to provide the highest caliber education programs to provide the special education and special-needs children with what they need," he says.
Any decisions on consolidation should happen in a measured, thoughtful way so it leads to better education access for students, Gaughan says.
"And of course the cost savings that will result in reducing our local property taxes and perhaps even pushing us down that list from the fifth highest local property taxes in America here in Erie County to something a little bit more manageable," Gaughan says.
He says consolidation should also lead to better-educated students.
"We're no longer turning out students with sufficient critical analysis skills. The ability to express themselves in the spoken or written word. That's why here in America we used to be number two in natural sciences in the world ... We're now ranked 29th. In mathematics, we used to be ranked number three. We're now ranked 27th," he says.
Gaughan is an attorney who has run for public office and also been a proponent for downsizing town and village boards.