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Letter to the Editor: Indiana board urged to mothball school

on November 17, 2013 2:00 AM

A recent Time magazine article on education stated that “a survey of recent college graduates … found that barely 50 percent knew that the U.S. Constitution establishes separation of powers, 43 percent failed to identify John Roberts as Chief Justice and 62 percent didn’t know the current length of congressional terms of office.”

I don’t know how well current secondary students in the Indiana Area School District would do on such a survey, but I do know the percentage would drop if English, science, math and American government classes were reduced to solve monetary problems.

I do believe the school board faces a horrendous problem of raising more than $1 million or more from next year’s budget.

Pension fund increases, salary and benefit negotiations, and administrative costs will certainly go up, but by what percentage?

I strongly urge again that the student population decline over the 1990s requires much consideration to close an elementary school. The school chosen represents about $1 million each year in utilities and administrative costs, and moving fifth grade to the middle school where they belong with the sixth- and seventh-graders in lieu of grades 2 to 4 would open up an easy method to close a school. Pre-K, kindergarten and grades 1, 2, 3 and 4 will fit nicely in any realignment the board chooses, and student elementary increases, should they occur, would be possible for three schools to sustain to more than 20 percent.

Moving to a half-day kindergarten, as this district had for many decades, would also free up about $450,000. While many mothers and fathers might believe their child is missing some education,

I can assure you studies have shown that from third grade on, all students are capable of the same studies, with half of full kindergarten experience being immaterial.

Money is the big, big problem. Hoping for state subsidies to increase or 12 mill real estate taxes won’t work. Do not affect the students’ secondary education, but broaden it so our graduates can do well in further education endeavors.

Mothball the school and see what happens in the next five to 10 years with our student enrollment. Make your preferences known, taxpayers.

Bill Balint

Indiana

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