HARRISBURG – Two bills are being proposed by Berks County Sen. Judy Schwank which would aid PA public school districts seeking a merger. The first bill would provide funds from the Commonwealth to offset increased per-pupil and administrative costs for up to five years following a merger. The funding required would be assessed through a study, paid for by the state, to determine the estimated costs of merging. The second bill would establish an advisory commission to develop a comprehensive plan for public education along with school district consolidation. The bills come in response to flooding over the summer that rendered Berks County’s Antietam Middle Senior High School unusable. While school districts should not be forced or incentivized into merging, Schwank said she believes resources at the state level are needed to support mergers in the event local school boards and district administrators decide to pursue the option.