Three simultaneous public meetings were held Thursday night in Espanola by three different school boards.

Up for discussion were several options for education in the small town, some of which involve the boards sharing the same building.

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Ecole secondaire catholique Franco-Ouest. (nouvelon.ca)

The Ministry of Education has asked the boards to work together, after it received competing requests for millions of dollars in funding in recent years.

John Stadnyk from the Huron-Superior Catholic School Board says local boards are hearing this more and more from the province.

"The directors of education have been hearing this type of message probably for the last couple of years,” he said.

“With the provincial deficit and the economy the way it is, we need to find different ways of working together."

Stadnyk said he doesn't believe this kind of collaboration will lead to a merging of school boards in Ontario.

The boards have to submit a proposal to the ministry by January of 2014.