To the Editor:

Recent writers have expressed a number of reasons for wanting to retain our three primary schools in Region 12.

I can sympathize and agree with the comments of some of the authors. However, at some point in time we all need to face the reality of the profound effects of declining enrollment with common sense, not emotion.

There is no question in my mind a new consolidated primary school would benefit all of the Region 12 schools.

Both students and faculty would benefit from the concentration of the education process under one roof.

Yes, there are problems which would need to be resolved. For instance, longer bus rides could be addressed using smaller buses serving outlying areas. I am equally certain the savings in staffing and maintenance should pay most of the costs of construction and bonding over a 20-25 year period.

A recent writer stated the present cost per student in Region 12 is on the order of $25,000. If the three schools are retained, I believe declining enrollment over the next few years would increase that cost to $35,000 to $40,000.

At this price, each town could issue vouchers to pay the tuition of all students in local private schools.

I attended several town hall meetings about eight years ago when we last considered constructing a consolidated K-6 school serving our three towns. Several speakers said "I don't care how much it costs, I want my local school."

I hope this mindset does not carry the vote this year.

I truly believe combining the K-6th grade student body and teaching staff in a new consolidated school would result in an improved learning atmosphere and the wisest use of our resources.

In closing, I would ask those who support retaining three separate primary schools: If not now, when?

Randolph W. Snook

Washington Depot