The heart wants what it wants, but at what price?
The struggle continues in the Jersey Shore Area School District.
It’s a struggle between the heart and the head.
A few years back, the recommendation was made to consolidate and close some of the smaller elementary schools and renovate the remaining schools.
But people love their local neighborhood schools. They love that their children are in a classroom right down the street. And so it was not surprising, because it involves the heart, that there was great resistance to this idea.
Now, the board has done a study of what it would take to bring existing buildings up to codes. The price tag: an estimated $50.5 million.
The study was delivered to a committee of the school board, but what are the committee’s goals?
That was the question of Dr. Brian Ulmer, district superintendent.
“Is our goal that the committee will recommend that we approach this from getting buildings up to code? Is it that we want to make sure that we extend the life of the buildings as far as we possibly can?”
While we have great appreciation for local neighborhood schools, we fear the pricetag will be too hefty to shoulder.
The smart thing to do would be to reconsider consolidation. The student population has been declining for 20 years and why invest in elementary schools that are only half full?
So, do we use our hearts? Or our heads?
These are not easy decisions.