Lyndonville, N.Y. (AP) – As New York state's population continues to grow at a sluggish pace, school districts are finding it necessary to combine all kinds of programs.
Whether it's taking in cast and crew for a musical production of "Legally Blonde" or merging one-time gridiron rivals to create one football team, shrinking enrollment is being felt across the state.
The New York Public High School Athletic Association, to accommodate the trend, last month revised a regulation so small teams that combine are not automatically bumped into a more competitive division.
The state association has not tallied the number of combined teams in recent years but acknowledged at least 100 new teams for the 2012-13 school year alone.
School enrollments in New York state have declined from 3.3 million in 2001-02 to about 3 million now.