It has been more than 50 years since the Pennsylvania Department of Education mandated the merger of school districts, resulting in the consolidation of dozens of small districts in Delaware County into a total of 15 districts. Morton School District was ordered to merge with Springfield and the name of the new district became Springfield School District (SSD).
But if Morton Borough Council has its way, that will change and the SSD will include the name of “Morton.”
At its June meeting, Council decided to begin a discussion among members that probably will result in a formal request to the Springfield School Board to include the name “Morton” in its official and legal designation.
“A school board, whose members are overwhelmingly Springfield residents, may not fully appreciate the importance of this one, small act to the taxpayers and students of a town a tenth their size,” said Councilman Bob McGrath, in a draft of his proposal. “Or of the gravity of the message that their failure to do so would be sending to our small, tight-knit community,” he continued.
McGrath pointed out that Springfield Township and the Springfield School District are duplicate names of another township and school district in nearby Montgomery County.
“And the confusion continues from there,” McGrath said in his draft proposal. “Does Morton pay its fair share for education? Many think not. Does Morton have equal access to the Springfield Swim and Country clubs? And there is the common misconception that township and the (Springfield) school district are one in the same.
“Historically, just consider the name ‘Morton’ and how it represents our history; a name of critical importance to our Commonwealth in joining the revolution, a name with direct lineage to the founding of our nation itself. Consider everybody’s pride of place in this, the cradle of liberty.”
McGrath noted that students from Morton Borough represent a small minority of the total population of those attending SSD schools and he said the majority of African-American students are also from the borough.
Neither Springfield School Board President Jennifer Lofland nor board member Chris DeSantis, who lives in Morton, could be reached for comment.
The community’s Fourth of July parade will begin at 11 a.m. from the Delaware County Intermediate Union on Yale Ave. at Sylvan Ave. The parade will cross the SEPTA railroad tracks and end at Borough Hall where more activities will take place.