The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

August 20, 2013

Our Readers Speak — Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Fayette citizens do not want plan for schools

Common sense needs to be applied in dealing with the educational needs of our Fayette County students. The Fayette County superintendent of schools and the State Board of Education have worked with the same 10-year facilities plan for Fayette County schools for far too long. That plan calls for the closure of Meadow Bridge and Fayetteville high schools.

The plan proposes transporting those ninth through 12th grade students to Midland Trail High School and transporting seventh and eighth graders from the Midland Trail area to Fayetteville High School. The increase in enrollment at Midland Trail would necessitate substantial expense for the construction of additional classrooms and facilities.

Fayette County citizens do not want the proposed plan for their children. During a four-year period, our citizens voted — by a large majority — against two school bonds that would have supported that plan.

Meadow Bridge High School lays claim to the highest test scores in the county, lowest dropout rate in the county, far less disciplinary problems and teen-age pregnancies, exceptional parent-teacher relations, and the list is endless. Fayetteville High School lays claim to its many successful graduates.

The takeover by the State Board of Education in various other counties has resulted in consolidated schools that have produced increases in low test scores, in disciplinary problems and in dropout rates. Schools in Lincoln, McDowell and Mingo counties are examples of consolidated schools that have failed our youth.

Furthermore, long bus rides involved in transporting students across the New River Gorge Bridge, particularly in the winter, would create safety issues while the location of Midland Trail presents other safety concerns. Unlike Fayetteville High and Meadow Bridge High, Midland Trail High is located outside of city limits and offers no city police department and no fire department within its immediate locale.

Why won’t the leaders in our educational system listen to the common sense of our Fayette County citizens? Support the educational needs of our students in a logical and concise manner.

George “Matt” Edwards