Forums to weigh public opinion on consolidation

Published 9:48 am Saturday, February 12, 2011

Citizens will be able to express their views on the consolidation of high schools in Northampton County.

Beginning next week, the Northampton County Board of Education will the first of two public forums regarding consolidations and overall school operations.

The first will be held at 7 p.m. on Feb. 17 at Northampton County High School-East’s lecture room. The school is located at 750 NCHS-East Rd., Conway.

The second public forum will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 24 in the auditorium of Northampton County High School-West STEM located at 152 Hurricane Dr., Gaston.

The announcements of the two upcoming forums comes after Northampton County Schools Assistant Superintendent Phil Matthews presented Board of Education members with a report concerning future school operations.

Among the highlights in the report was the fact the school district was facing steady decreasing enrollment and the cut back of nearly $2 million in state funding.

Matthews report also said with a single high school, the school district would be saving more than $1.3 million in professional staff costs.

Northampton County Schools would also face an increase in transportation costs and students from the outer most parts of the county, both east and west, would be experiencing bus rides to school that would last anywhere from one hour and 50 minutes to more than two hours.