Save the ship

Published 9:20 am Friday, May 1, 2009

To the novice eye, school buildings are nothing more than brick and mortar.

To those with sentimental attachments to those buildings, they represent much more.

It’s completely understandable that there are those in Northampton County upset over a plan by their Board of Education to close Rich Square WS Creecy Elementary, Garysburg Elementary, the Alternative School and the partial or complete closure of Squire Elementary. They see those schools as viable parts of the communities in which they are located. Seeing the doors padlocked and the windows boarded is like losing an old friend.

However, in a struggling economy and faced with declining student enrollment, the Northampton County Board of Education had no other choice than to embrace the inevitable.

Tough decisions are being made throughout this nation, both the public and private sector, due to a bad economy. Think of it in the terms of a ship that is fast taking on water; the captain orders items that can be sacrificed to be thrown overboard in order to save the entire vessel.

Such is the case in Northampton County. “Water” is pouring in from different angles – three schools are below 70 percent capacity and student population is on the decline, meaning fewer funds from the state as well as a reduced need for administrators and staff.

Meanwhile, current year operational costs stand at $2.8 million. That money comes from taxpayers, and as such it is in the best interest of the entire county not to continually pay more for less.

– The Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald