To the editor:

(Re.“Falling enrollment puts Brandon school in limbo,” Jan. 7, 2021) The core issue of the Brandon Middle School controversy seems to be this: a) Community-based appraisals of its school remaining open VERSUS b) District board-based appraisal of impact of closing the school. Any agreement does not seem likely as long as the discussion is limited to that confrontational scenario. So, that kind of leaves the situation with the following options:

If the decision is to close the Brandon Middle School, those opposed to such a move can: 1) open-enroll to another school district; 2) seek as a group to become part of another school district; 3) grin (or grit their teeth) and bear it (along with a deep grudge); or, 4) pro-actively present a compromise alternative(s) for board consideration that addresses the local school retention, economic considerations and maintaining educational excellence.

If the board wishes to avoid outcomes 1 to 3 above it can: 1) look for ways to cut current expenses somewhere else in the district budget to achieve desired cost savings; 2) look for a way to increase district taxes/revenue so as to cover the extra middle school expense; or 3) work with the proponents of a) to come up with a compromise alternative that addresses the issues cited above.

If one accepts the premises presented above, it seems like a waste of time and goodwill to start or limit the discussion to the “a) versus b)” scenario. Maybe it would be a good idea to look at compromise alternatives first.

— Kevin DeCramer


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