The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Bessemer Schools should consider consolidation

 


To the Editor:

The Bessemer Area School Board is up to the same old monkey business. According to the party line, everything is rosy and Bessemer Strong, whatever that means.

Just like the spring thaw we all look forward to, the board is preparing to offer another tax and spend bond. This one proposes we buy two buses and install security, all for “... only $400,00 and interest over eight years.”

Sure, the board could buy salt-free, used buses from Ohio for about $20,000 each, but they like the pretty, shiny, brand new ones. Besides, the district is too broke to even afford $40,000 for used buses.

When they have to time to spare from their busy bond work, the board is firing overworked teachers without any hearings. Like school lunch supplies, due process is in short supply at the Bessemer schools.

Superintendent David Radovich says he’s in touch with State Education Superintendent Flanagan. Mr. Radovich claims Mr. Flanagan doesn’t support consolidation of schools statewide.

That’s funny, really funny, and not true. I recently received a letter from my State Senator, Mr. Tom Casperson. I wrote to Mr. Casperson and told him about the problems we’re having with our schools in Gogebic County. He was very diligent and answered my letter.

To quote Casperson, “When funds were provided for consolidation in past budgets, ($17 million set aside for this purpose since Fiscal Year 2013) few school districts took advantage of them. Recently, the Michigan Department of Education announced it will be looking to hire a school district consolidation consultant to help nudge some school districts to consolidation. This assistance may make it easier to allow districts to look at and possibly adapt consolidation.”

Since our board refuses to study consolidation and face their problems, it wouldn’t surprise me if they ignored a consolidation consultant. After all, Bessemer is Strong. That must mean what we have is good enough.

—William McDonald,

Bessemer

 
 

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