Leadership needed in school size issue

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 27, 2001

Have you ever listened to a group of indecisive people try to decide which restaurant to choose for dinner? It’s a study in frustration as one by one the people agree that they are hungry, but they have no plan on exactly how to solve their dilemma. A similar situation seems to be unfolding with the Natchez-Adams School District.

Almost everyone involved agrees that our schools are overcrowded and that something must be done to solve the problem.

Last year the school board shocked many when it proposed reopening Braden School as a kindergarten to sixth-grade school in an effort to eliminate overcrowding and utilize an existing property. A public uproar quelled the plans, and last spring a public committee was formed to study the issue and suggest solutions.

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The committee issued a plan which included the construction of two new elementary school buildings and reconfiguring the current usage of the district’s other school buildings – with no suggestions on how to pay for the plan or how to obtain the needed federal Justice Department approval.

Recently members of the school board voted to support the committee’s suggestions, but thus far no one has spelled out how the district will accomplish that goal.

That’s called a lack of leadership. And it’s reminiscent of the group of hungry, but indecisive, people.

It’s not enough to say you’re hungry – or that your schools are overcrowded. Sooner or later, you’ve got to find a place to eat and, just like a meal in a restaurant, you’ve got to pay for your dinner.

And when it comes to our public schools, we all hear the rumblings in our hungry stomachs … but no one is stepping forward to make the difficult decisions.

How much longer will we have to wait for leadership?