Published On: Sun, Oct 7th, 2012

New Hope-Solebury school board may close Lower Elementary School

New Hope-Solebury High School on West Bridge Street

The New Hope-Solebury school board is considering closing the Lower Elementary School on Sugan Road, and also moving fifth graders into the middle school on West Bridge Street, where all NHS school grade instruction and administration will be consolidated under a proposal.

The board continues to point to stark budgetary choices when justifying the moves, projecting that they could shave more than $700,000 from their budget, but some local parents are less than thrilled. Closure of the LES would cause the well-regarded principal and building staff to lose their jobs.

Also lost may be classrooms used for music and fine arts classes. While these potential consequences are upsetting some parents, others point out that the moves may help save teachers’ jobs.

Concerned parents might consider sharing their thoughts via email at schoolboard@nhs.com.

Of note, one of our readers found a relevant analysis of school consolidation authored by the Pennsylvania School Boards Association Education Research and Policy Center in a report dated April, 2009 entitled “Merger/Consolidation of School Districts: Does it save money and improve student achievement?”. The summary on pages 17-18 concludes that “there is no evidence that consolidation of schools will result in reduced expenses; evidence shows that consolidations have an adverse impact on academic achievement; and mergers and consolidations have produced a sense of loss of community.”

 

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