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Time for school districts to merge

November 18, 2012
Weirton Daily Times

To the editor:

Another round of elections has passed and another group of school levies has failed. This is a tradition. All of the schools which had levy issues on the ballot are voicing the same concerns about funding and the inability to operate based on the current allowances by the state. The taxpayers keep crying about fewer taxes, fixed income and a depressed area. This has pretty much been the scenario since the early 1980s, and I really don't see a change in our future.

The people have spoken and they have decided not to use their local control, as the state likes to spout, to care for their local districts. My proposal is to eliminate the number of districts in Jefferson County and merge Edison, Indian Creek and Buckeye into one local school district. Cut the fat, as the saying goes. We would eliminate the cost of the number of school boards down to one, one superintendent, two assistant superintendents, one treasurer, fewer administrative support staff, etc. We could put the savings from the reduction in administration into more teachers and technology, and make it work where the rubber meets the road.

The area has prepared for it. Buckeye Local has a nice building to the south (Jefferson South) and we could build a new school somewhere on state Route 43 (Jefferson North.) We could use the present Edison High School as a middle school and they could have one or two elementary schools. The present Indian Creek has a nice new junior high, Hills Elementary School and can make a great elementary on the present high school-Buchanan campus. Buckeye also has properties that could be utilized or we could also opt for a new facility for it.

We could reduce the overlapping bus routes, purchase products from computers, books and even toilet paper in bulk, and even leave room for fantastic sports teams. It's a win all around. The students will be educated, the taxpayers will get what they pay for and we will have a new base to rebuild the Ohio Valley. The districts are presently fighting for the same dollar in many cases due to open enrollment. This is an alternative to the presently floundering districts that have to beg, borrow and steal to survive.

Let's make a change for the better and consolidate before they all fail. The alternative is staying on course and keeping the cycle of begging and denying ongoing. It's only the future we are voting against and who cares after we're gone? I, for one, do. It's time to merge.

Edward Connors

Mingo Junction

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