Letter: Exacerbating a problem

Exacerbating a problem

Editor of the Reformer:

Your editorial regarding Act 46 (Nov. 9) exacerbates a problem in our educational discussions by focusing on the narrow and incomplete perception that the costs of keeping particular school buildings open equate to how we can most effectively serve children and families.

In limiting the conversation in this way, you ignore two important, but often overlooked cost drivers: The high costs of special programming for a student for whom their designated school is not a good fit, and the cost to the school and the community for a student who struggles in school. It is for these children that choice is so essential. In providing an option and hope for children regardless of family income, choice offers a practical and cost effective path to quality education for students of all types (it is worth noting that the lowest spending districts in the state are those who run their own elementary school but tuition their high school students to a variety of choice options). Rather than eliminating choice and opportunity by forcing the creation of reformed school districts, therefore, would it not make more sense educationally and financially to make choice, especially for high school, available to all? When I stop to consider Act 46 through the lens of the children and their families, I am quick to conclude that it is not in their best interest. I wonder how many others would do the same were they not blinded by the wrong dialog.

Brian Whitehouse, Marlboro, Nov. 11


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