To the Editor:
Before I went into education and became a teacher, I served as an assistant city manager in Texas. Politics in Texas is as rough and tumble as they say it is; yet, at the end of the day, factions would talk and accomplish something.
Seeing that happen reminded me that Lyndon Johnson often invited his political foes into deliberations by quoting from the Old Testament book of Isaiah: “Come, let us reason together.”
Regarding education and our schools in Gogebic County, we all have the same goal, providing the best education we can to all of our students. yet, our communities are struggling to meet that goal. We have academic problems, financial problems and infrastructure problems with our schools.
There are many opinions regarding how to move forward. For the last two years, Bessemer’s school board proposed two multi-million dollar bonds that were rejected by voters. Feedback from my constituents suggests that happened because voters understand repairing deteriorating infrastructure without incorporating some response to our academic shortcomings is too expensive and unsustainable.
Now is the right time to come together and reason. Since our communities have the same goal, our two school boards should do their duty and prudently examine the pros and cons of consolidation, especially when there is a vote on consolidation coming up on Aug. 5.
Consolidation offers us strength in numbers. With greater resources and student population, we can offer enhanced education to all of our students. That can mean more vocational education, more advanced placement classes, more electives and extracurricular activities.
With greater resources, we can intelligently examine what buildings will best serve our students. Further, we can make every effort to keep a school open in each community.
I plan on introducing a motion at the Bessemer Area School Board’s May 27 meeting for the school boards of Bessemer and Wakefield-Marenisco to meet with Gogebic-Ontonagon Intermediate School District officials to discuss the pros and cons of consolidation. I invite my colleagues from Wakefield-Marenisco to do likewise.
We thank the GOISD for conducting a survey and holding information sessions to educate the public about consolidation.