August 30, 2013 | Vol. 94, No. 204

Clarification offered on consolidation survey

To the Editor:

In response to the recent comments made by members of the Bessemer School District Board of Education, I would like to take this opportunity to offer some clarification.

Recently, the Wakefield-Marenisco Board of Education offered a survey on consolidation to the residents of the school district. The purpose of the survey is to provide the board with information on the opinions of our communities regarding the possibility of future consolidation of school districts.

Clarification 1: Contrary to the comment made by a member of the Bessemer Board of Education as quoted in an Aug. 27 Daily Globe article, 93 percent of the residents of the W-M school district did not say they are opposed to consolidation with Bessemer. To date, 77 percent of the responses have indicated they would be in favor of a two-district consolidation between W-M and Bessemer at some time in the future.

There have been approximately 140 responses, so the sample size is small. However, we cannot assume that because a number of people have not responded to the survey that those people are opposed to consolidation, as indicated by the comment in the article.

Clarification 2: The W-M Board of Education pursued the survey partly in response to a request from members of the Bessemer Board of Education. We were asked by those board members to find out our communities’ opinions so that both boards would have up-to-date data with which to work. It was a surprise to learn that the Bessemer Board of Education will not be conducting its own survey after requesting that action of us.

The W-M survey will remain open for several more weeks with reminders to parents going home with students next week. The results of the survey will be discussed at future board meetings, but since consolidation has to be minimally a two-entity event, those discussions will be more philosophical than practical at this point.

Catherine R. Shamion, superintendent

Wakefield-Marenisco School District