Tough times bring tough choices. Tuesday, the Lubbock ISD board of trustees faced one of those choices. Looking at a shortage of money — possibly as much as $20 million — they really had no choice but to close three schools and relocate students. The result could save the district more than $5 million a year.
The plan is to consolidate Alderson Middle School into Dunbar Middle School, Arnett Elementary into Wright Elementary and Tubbs Elementary into McWhorter Elementary and Wolffarth Elementary.
I realize how emotional school closings can be for students, parents, and teachers. And I'm sure Tuesday's decision was a tough one for officials who had to decide. But frankly the timing was right, and this one had to happen. The alternative, laying off teachers, would not be an acceptable one.
Even if there were not a shortfall, recent population shifts would have made this decision inevitable. The loss in state funding just brought it quicker.
But there is good news. Taxpayers recently passed a nearly $200 million bond package that should result in better facilities for every campus. Having said that, bricks and mortar do not teach our children. People do. Our priority should be to keep teacher's employed and class sizes smaller.
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