Our opinion: School plan needs public voice

As we’ve noted in this space before, it’s time for the Warren County School District to come to a reckoning with the empty space in many of its buildings.

It’s good to see, then, that district officials are embarking on a Master Facilities Plan that will start with a meeting with key stakeholders sometime this month. A public session is planned for March, followed by focus groups, surveys and a second public meeting in April. Action could begin in April.

Donna Zariczny, school board president, said the plan is aimed at providing “opportunities to students and improve the work environment for staff” and not necessarily at cost savings.

In our opinion, the district should look at both factors as it embarks on this plan.

Most importantly, concerned residents need to make sure they are involved in this process. The facilities plan will end up affecting school-age children in one way or another, and it’s important for parents to make sure their voice is heard throughout the creation of the facilities plan.

It’s also important for everyone involved to begin this process with an open mind. Things must change. We cannot keep the same structure in our schools as our population continues to decrease. Already, educational opportunities are dwindling even as costs increase. Rather than advocate for that status quo, use this opportunity to create a building use plan that provides the best education, at the most acceptable cost, for the next generation of students.

Make your voice heard.


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