Kats’ Korner: Is Consolidation What’s Best for the Students?

There are certain aspects of a small town a person can identify with, whether it is the culture, a historical location, certain events held throughout the year or simply how well the community is maintained.

Most small towns, such as Oakland, Lyons and Tekamah, share a common structure that educates our children, a school.

For quite some time now, local school boards have been faced with the daunting task of whether to consolidate or build a new school.

Personally, I don’t envy those trying to do what is in the best interests of the districts they serve. I do, however, admire them for the many extra hours they have devoted to this issue.

State aid seems to be at the root of the problem, or lack thereof. There has been a significant decrease for all three school districts in Burt County since 2014/15. Tekamah-Herman received $13,219.79 less than last year, Oakland-Craig took a large loss of $67,721.01 and Lyons-Decatur Northeast also took a huge loss of $53,106.59.

The decrease in state aid undoubtedly hurts a school, which has a trickle down effect, hurting teachers and students.

In my opinion, every child deserves the best education possible. If this means consolidating with another school so this can be accomplished, so be it.

I will go on record and say that I don’t want this to happen. I don’t want any community to lose their high school. If this happens, I hope each community can keep their elementary schools. At this point, only consolidating high schools is being considered.

There will be many more discussions on this matter in the future. The outcome may be decided by voting yes or no on next November’s ballot.

Please stay informed on the issue. School board meetings are always open to the public.

Remember, a child’s future is at stake.


About katcountryhub
I am a graduate of Northeast Community College with a degree in journalism. I am married to Jeff Gilliland. We have two grown children, Justin and Whitney and four grandchildren, Grayce, Grayhm, Charli and Penelope. I will be covering Lyons, Decatur, Bancroft and Rosalie and am hoping to expand my horizons as time progresses!

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