School Consolidation Still Needed (Feedback)

Editor Gwen Moritz’s Editor’s Note on school consolidation (“Caught in a Loop,” Oct. 28) was spot on. The state’s efforts to address school funding will, in my humble opinion, continue to fall short of the mark until significant changes are made to our educational system.

As a member of a small district (900+/- students K-12) school board for 11 years, I watched in frustration as the state missed its chance to improve the educational opportunities for our students, high school students in particular. Consolidation of high schools would address not only funding issues, but would also improve the schools’ ability to better prepare students for higher education and vocational training.

I could give an example of three school districts, within a small geographic radius, which could combine and greatly expand class offerings, vocational training and career guidance counseling while lowering costs. However, to name those districts would simply awaken the shrill outcries of those who believe that the loss of their high school would deprive their community of its identity.

Even if our state leaders buy into this argument, it is far outweighed by the benefits a consolidated program would have for our students, both in dollars spent and opportunities gained. Thanks for keeping the issue in the public eye.

Mike Callan, President
Arkansas Oklahoma Gas Corp.
Fort Smith