One high school or two?
JC board members spell out their stands on issue
Sunday, December 9, 2012
Six of Jefferson City’s seven school board members are convinced that replacing the city’s existing high school with a new one east of Highway 179 is the best possible option, if the community hopes to remain competitive in a global marketplace, address problems with overcrowding and meet those obligations in a way that doesn’t translate into an onerous burden for taxpayers.
To that end, members already have purchased a $3.1 million tract and signed contracts to sell the “old” high school to Lincoln University and Linn State Technical College.
Only one member — Marie Peoples — has raised concerns the district is not headed in the right direction.
“My stance is that one mega high school does not best serve the academic needs of all students,” Peoples said. “I believe that two high schools will provide more academic and extracurricular opportunities.”
Her peers have chosen a different direction; they argue a single high school — broken into seven smaller learning communities called academies — strikes a good compromise between the expense of operating two high schools and the Jay Pride excellence the district cherishes.
Ultimately, it will be up to the voters to decide whether or not the board’s GPS is functioning or on the fritz.
Here is a sampling of the board’s various viewpoints: