Our opinion: Closing buildings must be on table

John Wortman is absolutely on the right track, in our opinion, when it comes to what the future of the Warren County School District will look like.

Given the results of last year’s school board election, Wortman’s insistence on considering fewer school buildings for the 2025-26 school year won’t be popular. But it’s probably the right decision.

The school district can save itself between $600,000 and $700,000 by closing Sheffield High School and moving all students full-time to Warren Area High School.

Here’s the rub. To achieve those savings the school board has to act by this September.

Doing nothing is not an option. If the district increases taxes as much as it is allowed to this year and makes no other changes, the district’s $19 million fund balance will be spent by 2028.That means time is of the essence. Doing nothing but increasing taxes means running out of money soon. When that happens the quality of education will go down because there won’t be money to pay for the extras that can help students learn or provide the extra-curricular activities that help keep some students in school in the first place.

It’s not easy to be the building consolidation killjoy in the room. But Wortman is filling a necessary role right now. He sees the writing on the wall. County taxpayers need to see it too.

It’s time to be proactive to help secure the Warren County School District’s financial future and the quality of education the district provides.


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