2016-06-17 / Letters

Plenty of room at the schools

To the editor:

A recent attempt to close Sea Road School, was met with class sizes and room capacities manipulated by the RSU 21 management, to justify keeping all schools open. It has been said that figures don’t lie, but liars figure, and that is exactly how the conclusion reached was made.

Part of the logic used to keep Sea Road open was the notion that closing this school could only be done by moving all 229 students to the elementary school, where there wasn’t enough room. The practical option would be to move the fourth-grade to the elementary school, and the fifthgrade to the middle school. Utilizing the middle school for the fifth grade is done by two of the best systems in the state, York and Cape Elizabeth schools.

Here are the facts: We have a middle School with a capacity for 760 students, with projected enrollment for next year of 534 students; we have an elementary school with a capacity for 600 students and a projected enrollment for next year of 393 students.

Combined enrollment of 927 vs. combined capacity of 1,360 results in excess capacity for 433 students, more than enough to accommodate the Sea Road students.

We have been in a continual, declining, enrollment for the past 16 years, now reaching over 600 students, while maintaining the same six facilities and tuitioning the Arundel middle and high school students to Thornton Academy.

Our school system during the decline in enrollment has taken advantage of the extra space, co-opting it to expand space allocation for administrative functions that they now would have us believe that capacities, as determined by the state of Maine are no longer relevant.

It is this type of hypocritical management that would pick and choose which state standards to follow, or to blame the state when funding levels fail to meet their expectations, but can’t make the tough decisions to control costs related to the drop in enrollment.

Ed Geoghan

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