Saturday, November 15, 2008

Shake up of Anderson Community Schools?

That is what the Herald Bulletin reported earlier this week:
ANDERSON — Details of two preliminary options for city school closings, one of which turns Highland High School into a middle school, have come to light through an online discussion site.

Board members with Anderson Community Schools confirmed that information posted by a person using the screen name Patriot Dan is similar to an option presented to them by the school district’s administration.

The plan involves closing Edgewood, Eastside, Killbuck, Robinson and Southview elementary schools, as well as Southside Middle School. Northside Middle School would become an elementary school, and Highland High School would become a middle school housing seventh through ninth grades. Anderson High School would keep grades 10 through 12.
Close Highland after all the remodeling? That will make it one of the jazziest middle schools in the state. But closing Highland also raises another point that I will discuss below.

And what about closing our newest elementary school (Eastside)? That and closing Edgewood has to be risking a lot of angry parents.

And what about smaller classroom sizes?
A second option, wrote Patriot Dan, deals with Ebbert Education Center and Robinson Elementary and moving the location of the alternative school.

While some school board members dismissed the information as rumor, others said parts of the plans were similar to options they’d received from the administration.
Might have been more interesting to hear about the Ebbert rumors. It is not like our kids do not need a vocational school. All the reporter could get was that the building was getting old.

At least Tim Long seems to recognize the problem of Highland having a large rural area:

Not all board members could be reached for comment, but two said the post matched one option they have seen.

Of the first plan, Tim Long said “some pieces do fit.”

He worried, however, that changing the two high schools structure was too radical of a move to be a serious option. Long added that the plan described online seemed to not fully consider the district’s enrollment.

And why do all this? The article buries the reason towards the end:

Lowe announced at a school board meeting Tuesday that her staff had prepared information regarding possible school closings as a way for the district to handle a $5 million budget cut in 2010.
And do we have that shortfall? Because we run our schools on property taxes and the legislature has capped those property taxes. Let us remember that we reelected Mitch without a clue of how the state government will meets its obligations to education.

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