Right choice

Published 9:49 am Thursday, December 8, 2011

As is often the case in making tough decisions, the wise choice may not be the most popular one.

On Monday night, the Northampton County Board of Education made a wise choice – that of consolidating the county’s two public high schools into a single entity.

While that decision may not be overwhelmingly popular, especially to those living in the western part of the county, the board opted to do what’s best for the entire county – to keep a viable source of higher education available to Northampton’s teens.

The board did not reach this decision in haste or without regard to the future of education in the county. This issue has been the topic of numerous discussions for at least two years. It was close to becoming a reality prior to the start of the current school year, but the board decided to wait another 12 months to weigh all their options.

In a day and age where the costs associated with educating a child are going through the roof combined with massive cuts in public education at the state level, local school boards are forced to come to grips with reality. If the Northampton board kept pouring money into two high schools without regard to a dwindling financial spreadsheet, then we would be the first to accuse them of not doing the job they were elected to perform.

By putting all their “high school eggs” into one basket at what is now Northampton-East, those students should hopefully note an improvement in the offering and delivery of more advanced courses. That should allow these high school students to be better prepared to tackle what lies ahead – whether that is continuing their education or entering the work force.

The board’s decision was also the right one as far as bus transportation is concerned. It will be cheaper to send 207 West students to Creeksville than transporting 387 East students to Gaston.

We commend the majority of the Northampton School Board for making the right decision. It wasn’t personal; rather it made good sense from a business and educational standpoint.

-The Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald