To recap the : The problem that the township faces is almost a classic supply and demand imbalance. We have an oversupply of and maintenance overhead and too large a faculty for the number of students in the school system.
The this will be increasingly so in the future. To restore a balance we need to either increase enrollment in the school system or reduce capacity. We need to investigate options from both ends to resolve this problem.
At the meeting, the Board of Education committed to follow the same process that was instituted in 2002 at the time of the last critical capacity problem. That process identified several options to resolve the capacity problem, detailed the costs and benefits associated with each and presented them to the community in a referendum. The community itself decided the future of its school system and chose to construct a new school.
Personally I was impressed by the Board's statements to the effect that the results of the demographic study meant that significant action was called for; it was not a case of 'business as usual'. The Board recognizes that education at any cost is unaffordable and unacceptable to the community.
At yesterday's meeting, the Board formed a sub-committee to plan for the process that was last followed in 2002. This demonstrates a commitment by the Board to develop a solution to a difficult problem in a transparent process; a process that will give the community the opportunity to decide on the future of our school system, as in 2003.
One or more committees will be formed to identify options and capture the associated implications; impact on the quality of our children's education, costs and savings, feasibility, short and long-term consequences on our ability to manage uncertainty in the demographics of our district, etc. Identifying possible solutions to this problem will need innovative thinking and objective evaluation. It will be best accomplished by active participation from the community. Sniping from the sidelines won't cut it. If we want to maintain a high quality, affordable school system then we have to step up, participate in the hard and often emotionally draining work that difficult choices inevitably demand.
The Board of Education positively wants participation from the community, is actively creating the process to enable the development of a range of options and will bring them before the community in a referendum. They deserve our active support.