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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

It's time to decide the fate of school in Morehouse

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The historic flooding in Morehouse has put a hold on the decision concerning the closing of Morehouse Elementary School. But in June, the votes will be cast and the future of the school will be decided.

Right now, I am certainly glad I am not a member of the Sikeston Board of Education.

The decision to close a school falls along financial and emotional lines. That is clearly the case in Morehouse.

Based on a financial snapshot, it is clear that closing the school will save precious money for the school district. Judged along emotional lines, I would fight vocally to keep the school in Morehouse for a variety of reasons.

When the smoke clears, I would bet the financial argument wins the day. And that will not make residents of Morehouse pleased, to put it mildly.

The one reality that must be addressed is the fact that Sikeston schools are losing students in fairly substantial numbers. Depending on when you make the actual count, our schools have lost about 500 students over the past decade. That somewhat mirrors the declining population in our community.

More students are currently bused to Morehouse than live within that community. And school officials say clearly that our current elementary schools in Sikeston can easily absorb the Morehouse students.

But the emotional argument must be considered. The loss of a school for a small community is a tremendous blow. And quite honestly, I think the school board is weighing heavily that loss and the emotional impact on Morehouse. And they should.

This important decision has been lost in the issue of flooding. Now the community of Morehouse is facing an uphill battle to rebuild and the potential loss of their only school.

But in the end, a decision must be made. A year's postponement on the decision will not serve either the community, the school district nor the students. It's time we put this issue to rest.



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Michael Jensen
Michael Jensen