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Will functionality, simplicity prevail in South schools?

Another school building project is in the works, and taxpayers are being vocal about their concerns.

They have every right to be concerned. It is difficult to wrap your mind around why so much money is spent on major building projects in district after district during a time of declining enrollments. We have watched this process play out in many districts in the region. Montoursville. Jersey Shore. Now South Williamsport.

The reaction from the public has been similar. People worry that big building projects will drive up taxes. And they worry that there won’t be enough left after taxes to provide for personal needs such as food, shelter, healthcare. They worry that government seems to believe that the answer for everything is to just raise taxes instead of trimming the bottom line.

Then, too, it is difficult to wrap your mind around what is involved in today’s public schools. Not only do they provide instruction in the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic, they also provide training that gets into more complex subjects that prepare our young people for life as adults in increasingly complex times.

Schools are responsible for providing security for students in an increasingly dangerous world. Mandates are piled upon mandates, and that drives up costs. And then there’s technology that becomes outdated almost as fast as it rolls off the assembly line. It’s expensive, but essential.

So what is the solution? Where can we find a common ground that will allow for a solid public education while balancing the interests of the taxpayers?

South Williamsport school board member Paul McGinn said the project will be all about simplicity and functionality with every effort to do what’s best for everyone.

That’s as it should be. We hope he is successful in that effort.

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