Two staff editorials in the Sun Advocate in recent weeks have prompted me to respond. They described many of the same reasons that I and many of the residents of East Carbon share, on the closure of East Carbon High.
Richard Shaw's editorial, "Choice may be victim of the decision?" (April 26) is the first I would like to elaborate on.
Shaw wrote that the closure of East Carbon High "means while the majority of students will be well-served by the lone 10-12 grade facility left in the county, there will be some who will not be."
In his article nothing was mentioned about those students who will be going to Mt. Harmon Jr. High. What happens to those students who are just learning about being a teenager. I know most teachers and parents will agree with me, when I say students in grades 7-9 are the most challenging. They are entering into that "horrible, sacred, impossible, freedom finding age of 13". Now a new school added to that mix.
This past week I did some research on how small schools, are able to stay open. I learned about "Necessary Existing Small Schools". The small schools of Lake Powell, Navajo Mountain, Manila, West Desert, Helper Jr. High, East Carbon High, Big Water to name a few would not be able to stay open without funding from "necessary existing small schools" allotment. Helper Jr. High receives about $60,000 less than East Carbon High.
In the editorial written by Chari Jelsma, "Will closure crush East County Towns Economies?" (April 26) Jelsma wrote, a local school can bring a community together.
"The high school is a central part of the local community." Truer words have never been written or spoken. I am afraid East Carbon will lose its identity. I am afraid that no one will move to East Carbon, if there is not a high school. I am afraid that we will stop growing economically and there will be a complete collapse when the school is no longer here to hold the community together.
When the mines started to close, and finally shut down, we still had a glimmer of hope because of the power plant. When ECDC started operating, here we thought we had a slim chance of staying on par economically.
But then I started really looking at how many of the employees that work at the power plant or ECDC live in the East Carbon area. The mine in "B" Canyon opened. How many of those employees live in East Carbon? Jelsma wrote "It is unknown how the students will be affected, but the chance that East Carbon will completely deteriorate due to the closure of its high school is unlikely.
All I have to say about that quote is I have a house for sale.
In Richard Shaw's editorial towards the end Shaw wrote "the issue has to do with a one size fits all situation.
In closing East Carbon High the district will lose $380,000 so I guess one size does fit all.