|Our View — Merge with Proctor: Could be cost savings in new school|
|Wednesday, 11 November 2009 07:59|
Conversations in the community over the last few weeks have centered on how expensive the Hermantown school bond referendum was proposed to be. At just over $58 million, we agreed with those statements. It is a lot of money, yet educating our children is not cheap these days.
On Nov. 3, voters in our school district decided not to move forward. Let us rephrase it—voters overwhelmingly voted down the school bond referendum by 80 percent.
Wisely so, the school district did not want to talk about Plan B this fall. The long range planning committee presented a plan it felt was the best option for the school district and the school board agreed to move it forward to a vote.
The referendum failed. Now it is time to look at future options.
Since there has been great concern by residents and business owners in regards to the expense, perhaps the time is right to look at consolidation efforts with Proctor.
We know that those of you who bleed blue and gold could never, with a sane mind, approve such an endeavor. However, there are ways to consolidate costs and still allow for some independence.
A joint high school between the two school districts would allow the tax burden to be shared by more residents and cost savings could be substantial in the years to follow. Staff reductions could see yearly savings, including one superintendent and one high school principal. A larger student body will allow for more funding and more diverse class offerings.
Having an indoor pool might make sound financial sense. A larger gymnasium and auditorium would be a benefit for both communities.
Before we get death threats on such a crazy idea, “consolidate” means “bringing together.” We do not have to assimilate, which means we do not have to be absorbed.
Extracurricular activities would still be separated between the two communities by the students who live in the respective district. There could be combining for some sports, but football and hockey and others could remain Hermantown and Proctor.
Elementary and middle school students would go to school in the various buildings between the two districts. Lines could be redrawn that would minimize traveling distances for our younger students. This also would reduce traveling expenses.
State officials might say otherwise on the plans of such a bold move. We would certainly argue our point on the basis of common sense, something state officials did not use when spending thousands of dollars on new TVs for sex offenders. If there could be cost savings and less of a financial burden on residents, we feel our government is not in the economic position to disagree with reviewing such a plan.
Educating our young people is one of our most important roles as a community. We need to continue to find ways to offer a quality education that is affordable to the residents.
The biggest issue with our bright idea might be finding a neutral site within the two communities. Our vote is the shores of Moogie Lake.
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 November 2009 08:02|