LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Consolidation should be done in a smart way

Published 2:28 pm Friday, September 13, 2019

As a parent of two elementary school children, I am worried about cuts in our schools.

Last year, their AIG teacher shifted to covering three schools, and this year is teaching in four different schools.

I can’t imagine how this seems feasible, just like I don’t understand how our high school students can compete when they must drive from school to school to get the courses they need. One high school senior honors student has none of the classes she needs offered at her own high school.

When schools are chronically underfunded, they have to work more efficiently or make cuts. North Carolina per-pupil funding ranks 39th and teacher pay 37th.

School funding in North Carolina has been trending downward for years when adjusted for inflation. We should all be asking our legislators to fund our schools more appropriately, but until funding improves, it’s not a question of whether to consolidate, but how to do it smartly.

I’m districted to an elementary school that’s twice as far away as a closer one, so that we can keep community schools open. But I would have no issue with this, or with consolidating bus drivers, if we were offering more assistant teachers or diverse course offerings.

In my opinion, our teachers are our best resource and we should be consolidating them last, not first or second or even third. I know we all want what’s best for our kids. No one wants to close schools, but buildings are superfluous if students can’t get the courses or teachers they need.

Jenny Hinson