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Stewardship: Wood County Board of Education taking necessary action

No one presented with the kinds of numbers heard during last week’s Wood County Board of Education meeting could have come away without the understanding something dramatic must be done (in fact, should have been done many years ago) to preserve the district’s financial stability.

Wood County’s dwindling student population (875 gone since 2015; and 200 gone since this time a year ago), and therefore dwindling need for buildings in which to educate the students who remain, combines rather poorly with unfunded mandates, unrealistic and unreasonable state funding formulas and other requirements.

Anecdotal evidence suggests even as the number of students decreases rapidly, the number of students with needs that require more from staff is increasing.

It should be noted whoever in Charleston is coming up with the rules and formulas each school system is required to follow cannot possibly have spent much time working in an actual school district. But there is little that can be done about that.

What Wood County Schools can do is finally pick up that can previous administrations and boards kicked as hard as they could down the road. They are doing their best to make the necessary adjustments –closing schools and consolidating resources — that properly serve students and taxpayers.

(Remember, ladies and gentlemen, when some adults ask for an unnecessary building to be kept open, they are asking the board to put their nostalgia above responsible stewardship of your hard-earned dollars.)

The board of education is doing the right thing — and surely no one believes they would do it in a way that treats students unfairly or diminishes the quality of education they will receive. It is well past time for those unable to face the reality of the situation to stand aside so the real work can begin.

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