News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Lawrence County still has challenge of better schools

Some Lawrence County residents will be relieved that wholesale high school consolidation apparently is not in their immediate future.

But trying to reduce seven high schools into two or three may prove to be less of a problem than the one the county now faces after Superintendent Dexter Rutherford said this week that the plan is in danger because of uncertain funding.

A proposal to consolidate at East Lawrence and at a school to be built elsewhere has county residents divided. Regardless of the conditions of buildings and the small enrollment at some schools, people want to hold on to the present.

But the superintendent says many of the buildings are substandard and some are beyond repair.

Substandard buildings are not the only problem. Because of the small size of their schools, students lack the opportunity to take elective subjects and participate in extra curricular activities that broaden their basic education.

Speculation over how much the county might get from a state bond issue threw consolidation off track. Mr. Rutherford said the bond issue may not give Lawrence County enough capital to build the new school needed for consolidation.

The plight is no victory for any faction. Lawrence County residents need to accept that people make communities and well-educated people make communities better. Those who oppose consolidation need to put forth a proposal that will accomplish many of the goals Mr. Rutherford sought.

Lawrence County needs better schools.

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