Union Democrat staff

Concerned by proposed school unification

To the Editor:

Unification concerns I have are as follows:

1. Bigger government is not always better.

2. If you are unhappy with your current district, you can apply for an inter-district transfer to move your child to a new environment. The law protects your right to choose. You may not have that option in a unified district.

3. All the current school bonds would be assumed by all taxpayers in the new unified district.

4. If your students go to one of the smaller schools in the new unified district they may get the least desirable conditions as it could be the dumping ground for the least desirable staff. The possibility exists for less funding, with little to no improvements being made to the smaller schools.

5. With 11 districts and three to five school board members per district, currently you have better and more adequate representation. With unification, there could be as many as seven school board members total overall, which is less than one board member per school, equating to mean that there may not be anyone to effectively address your interests or your school's interests and concerns.

6. Any savings that might be seen with only one superintendent could be overrun with increased teacher's salary schedule changes.

7. High school programs are more expensive than elementary school, who is going to suffer?

My letter is intended to be informative in nature only, just so everyone who is on board with unification understands the impacts to their children and to the community. I did attend school board meetings for more than 16 years; six of those years were spent as an active school board member. I feel that it is not in the public's best interest, and especially, in the students best interests to unify our schools.

Paul M. Howay