The legislative bodies in Ansonia and Derby voted Thursday to form a committee to study whether a regional school district should be created between the two towns.
The committee, following a procedure outlined in state law, has up to two years to weigh the pros and cons and come up with a plan.
Any recommendation would have to be approved by voters in both cities.
The study, which will include the participation of a representative from the state education department, is expected to cost around $40,000.
Officials are confident state grant money will cover that bill.
Ansonia and Derby are among the most economically distressed communities in the state. The school districts receive extra state funding because of low test scores.
Both school districts rely heavy on money from the state and federal governments — a revenue stream that has become somewhat unpredictable.
In addition, Derby officials, including the mayor and city’s lawyer, have stressed the state is pressuring communities to regionalize. Doing the study will unearth data that will help the communities be ahead of the curve.
The hope among some is that combining the schools in some form will bolster student learning and save taxpayers money.
But officials have stressed that just because they endorsed the study does not mean they have reached a conclusion.
Meanwhile, school boards in Derby, Ansonia, and Seymour are also talking about ways to “share services” in order to reduce costs as well.
Ansonia Alderman Joseph Jaumann, who recently announced his intent to run for the 104th District state House seat, has been a key player in the push for the study.
He researched and had a hand in drafting the resolutions that were approved by the Aldermanic boards in both cities Thursday.
“Our communities are realizing that we can accomplish more together than we can alone,” Jaumann said in a prepared statement.
The Ansonia Aldermen streamed their meeting on Facebook. Click play on the video above to watch.
Derby Mayor Rich Dziekan mentioned the approval in a Facebook post Friday morning.