Indiana, PA - Indiana County

Letter to the Editor: Board must reconsider school plan

on April 14, 2017 10:59 AM
Indiana, PA

Western Pennsylvania’s opioid epidemic is horrific, and Narcan has become a staple in schools and in many households.

According to the American Community Survey, poverty in rural areas like ours is on the rise. The study cites an average 16.7 percent rate of poverty for rural communities.

These and a multitude of other societal problems indicate two things.

First, many within our community cannot afford the tax burden they have now, let alone the one the Indiana Area School Board is about to create with the construction of the proposed mega elementary school and the closure of two borough schools.

Second, assigning the same number of students to two buildings creates a much larger environment, making it unlikely that the faculties and the principals will be able to know all the children as they do now, nor recognize and correct a bad course before it starts. For many students, school is the only positive structure available in their lives.

I have yet to hear convincing evidence from the board that the closure of our small schools in favor of a new Ben Franklin and upgraded East Pike is good for the community.

The lack of regard most of the board has shown for thousands of people and government leaders who have raised objections is astounding. We’ve watched the board chip away at debt by cutting positions through attrition, and yet the board continues with this building project.

With or without supreme facilities, people make schools what they are. Teachers, administrators, coaches, librarians, lunchroom attendants or custodians can tap a lost kid on the shoulder and point him in the right direction. That’s what our community needs most. You can do better and owe the public such, Indiana Area school board. Please reconsider the mega-school project.

Regan Houser

Indiana

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