Letter To The Editor: Don't Forget to Talk About 'Plan B' on High Schools
The BHS board and administration wants voters to focus on preferred plan for high school consolidation, but do enough know about alternative plan?
Much has been said about the need to bring the high school issue to an end. Fortunately, if the District is true to its word, the May 8 election, after multiple tries, will do just that – one way or another. Both plans put forth by the District are academically workable according to Superintendent Glass. Plan A, that preferred by the District, has been defined in precise detail and thoroughly vetted with the community. That is good. I believe some of the details, like what is planned for all the Lahser facilities, are still not general public knowledge. That is not good.
The second plan, Plan B (what will be done if the District preferred plan is rejected), has been sketched out. It was not presented in any detail during the town hall meetings. In fact, many of the few details we have today were not available for review at those meetings. That is unfortunate.
As a consequence of the rush to a vote in May, Plan B is not as well defined or its existence as widely known as it should be. It is probably even more spartan than B-20/20 might like and would have supported.
The leadership of B-20/20, and I am not that leadership, has said and I quote, “Let's preserve our two small high school FACILITIES and have ONE principal and ONE asst. principal and use Lahser for 9th grade and Model, and use Andover for 10-12th grades. All sports teams can be "unified" Bloomfield teams. 9th graders can participate in Freshman teams at Lahser. 10-12 can do "JV" or Varsity at Andover. Therefore, we could save money and still continue to operate two small high school facilities. Each school facility AHS and LHS would benefit from about $10-$15 million in upgrades to plumbing, heating, cooling, lighting and "cosmetics."
That sounds like Plan B, as proposed by the District, to me.
That B -20/20 leader went on to say, “I would be likely to vote YES for a $30-million bond to upgrade our two small high schools, but no one has ever offered me that "reasonable" option.”
Now granted, it may cost about $1.5 million more a year to operate Plan B than Plan A, but it costs $30 million rather than $79 million. Those costs could both be offset by the same $20 million the District has found to subsidize Plan A.
You tout the concept of “enabling students to become the architect of their future.” It is time for you to step back and allow the taxpayers also to be “architects of their future.” Present Plan A as your preference, but please do not resort to maligning Plan B as irresponsible. It is not too late to explain Plan B and present it as an option reasonable people can support, even if you support Plan A.
The viewpoints in this letter are those of the writer, and Patch is not responsible for any ideas portrayed as facts. For questions and clarifications, please leave a comment below or contact editor Art Aisner at Art.Aisner@patch.com.
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