By John Hubbuch
Am I the only one suprised after reading Terry Dean's front page piece in this week's paper headlined "OPRF sets price tag on closed campus? "
I'm surprised for a number of reasons. First, I'm pretty indifferent about closing the campus to help solve the community's drug problem because I don't think it will have any more impact than tying red ribbons around trees for Drug Awareness Week, but at least red ribbons are cheap. But Yikes! The cost of closing the campus is $300,000 every year plus a one-time squishy $2 million in facilities renovation. And that's to close the campus for only half the students for the 2011-2012 school year. I wonder how much more it will cost to close the whole school?
So I was surprised that it cost so much. I was even more surprised that as far as I know there was no public discussion about this huge cost when the decision to close the campus was made. How can that be? Reading Mr. Dean's story I don't know if the Board just didn't tell us the cost, or even worse, it didn't know, until after the decision was made. Maybe I missed something, but inquring minds want to know.
My final surprise is this: if the high school can spend this kind of money on partially closing the campus-- a step it knows will have only a limited impact on a community-wide problem, shouldn't it be willing to spend at least as much in new money on closing the achievement gap which is so much closer to its education mission? I don't get it.