Letter to the Editor: Don't close school
I attended last weeks meeting at East Carbon High and the committee said they were just there to inform us of pending changes and were not there to close our school. But from the rumors that have been going around we all know differently. I have so many questions and after reading the Sun Advocate yesterday I was even more confused.
Why at a time when five new subdivisions are being proposed and growth just starting in Carbon County and East Carbon is the school board and their committee talking about closing East Carbon High and Helper Junior High? Somebody knows something; housing developments like this don't just spring up. Homes are being spruced up and occupied in East Carbon. This is a sign of growth and with growth comes families and there could be hope. To me closing these schools is inconceivable unless someone has their own agenda.
Apparently East Carbon and Helper aren't the only schools losing money as according to the letter from Erica Kardelis in yesterday's paper (April 12). Mont Harmon lost money also. How much did Carbon lose? That hasn't been mentioned. Maybe we need to see what the budgets and losses for all schools are instead of taking two out of the contest.
Is the district trying to make East Carbon and Helper the sacrificial lamb for Carbon and Mont Harmon?
When it comes to test scores anyone who has done anything with percentages knows that if you have a class of 15 and two or three fail the test it looks worse than if you have a class of 30 students and the same number fail. It's like comparing apples and oranges. Has the committee looked at that?
I also agree with Kardelis that the parents of Carbon and Mont Harmon would not want classes to be bigger. In a few years, with the new houses going up, the school board will be wanting us to pass a bond to build more schools in Price and for what reason? We all know hindsight is 20-20, but what will it hurt to wait and see and not have to kick ourselves later?
The committee and the school board needs to step back and look at the big picture. If the students needs were being met in the public schools there wouldn't be a need for the charter school.
One of the people from the committee said that the Essential Rural Schools grant was only for three years. But I'm not sure that is the case because Emery County has been getting that grant for many more years than that to keep Green River High open. What about any other grants that could be applied for? What if costs were cut? What about petitioning the state school board to let us go for four days? What about cutting costs on sports? I have to wonder if a smaller bus or a 15 passenger van were used for an activities vehicle how much that would cut costs. Like Mrs. Hepworth said in the East Carbon meeting we need to think outside of the box and see what could be done.
Has anyone talked to the real estate people to see how many people they are working with that may want to move here? Or maybe the school district could revamp the boundaries and send more of the Wellington kids to East Carbon.
As was pointed out in the meeting on Monday night, if the school is closed it will cause a ripple effect upon the town and the county. There are 11 full time and two half time teachers, three janitors, two library aides, two resource aids, three food service people, one counselor, one principal and two bus drivers who could be out of work in East Carbon. And not all of them would not be integrated into the system somewhere else. That's a lot of families that are going to have to worry and wonder about their jobs. Many of them have been in this district for more than 10-15 years and figured they would retire here. They really don't want to move or teach in another place. If they are integrated into the system then someone in Price or Helper will lose they jobs and it will ultimately affect other towns too.
The school district should realize that is a lot of families who at this late in the school year have to find somewhere else to work and live if they can't find a job in this area. There are people who can't feasibly pick up and move to another town to live or will lose their homes. I think it is pretty unfair that 37 days before school is out the school district drops this bombshell on us.
The ripple effect will be felt in East Carbon at the clinic, gas station, and grocery store. The property values will end up in the garbage and the town will be a ghost town.
Is this important to anyone at all or do they even care?
This is happening just as there is growth in the town and all of Carbon County. There's new business coming to Price and East Carbon.
Don't close East Carbon High.