Says tuitioning out is not Region 12's answer
Published 5:29 pm, Wednesday, April 2, 2014
To The Editor:
A few region 12 residents, in response to our struggles, have been promoting the cost savings of dissolving our region and tuitioning-out all our middle/high school students and maintaining inefficient, aging, under-populated elementary schools in separate towns.
During such presentations, they tend to glamorize this option as if it would be a trip down the yellow brick road to the money-saving Emerald City.
Just as it was behind the curtain, there is no wizard that can magically make everything all right.
In their proposals, the schools being dangled as glittering options for our students may or may not choose to accept our children.
It is all dependent on contracts made among the schools.
In other words, just because we may want their 21 advanced-placement classes does not mean they will want all or any of our students.
Also, the rates they charge for each student to attend their school can change or increase on a yearly basis and do not address any fees incurred to educate our special-needs students.
Should we then plan to move or transfer our kids each time a school's rate gets too high at contract renewal and, if so, move them to where there is the cheapest option?
Is that what this has come to?
I would also be amiss to not mention the fact of supply and demand, rates proposed now while we have a school may be different when we don't.
Secondly, as a nontax- paying attendee for any of these outside school systems, we as parents have no say or vote in how that particular school system runs or makes changes to its school system.
We would be always the guests at their school.
The tuitioning-out proposal also seems to allude with ruby slippers each parent will get to click their heels and send their child to the school of their choice.
Again, if any school were to agree to take 100 of our students, is anyone fooled into believing the parents get to pick which 100 students get to attend that particular school?
I do not know how to stop the tornado from coming through our region. We have declining demographic population issues and fiscal changes coming.
I can only hope, at the end of our rainbow, we find Region 12, the younger and the wiser alike came together and made not only a monetary choice, but sound educational decision for the children of our region.
Bringing everyone together will only fortify us, not destroy us. We need to remember, just like in the land of Oz, there is "no place like home," which currently we proudly call Region 12.