To the editor: Vote no to Ludlow/Mt. Holly schools merger

On Nov. 28, Mount Holly and Ludlow will once again be voting on whether or not to close Black River High School and to send our 7 – 12 grade students to … wherever.

A group of local people are proposing an independent high school. In an article about this possibility, Melissa Perrino is quoted as saying, “so many of the teachers are already doing great work in outdoor education and proficiency-based learning. We really believe we can build off of that ….”

Unfortunately, an independent school is only pie-in-the-sky while a vote for the latest option we are being offered will absolutely close Black River High School. The current teachers who are doing “great work” have families to feed and retirement benefits to consider. They are not likely to stick around for an uncertain future if the town votes to close BRHS.

For some, an independent school looks enticing because certified teachers are not required and salaries can be less. That isn’t conducive to keeping current teachers from leaving and, without certified teachers, how does this new school entice folks who want a solid education for their children? Having an independent school is certainly worth exploring, but it needs to be developed completely before the current high school is dissolved.

Those who are truly serious about creating an independent school need to reject the current option, work to create a viable independent school plan, then bring that to the voters. This would allow for the new school to actually do what the proponents say they want to do — “build off of” the “great work” that’s already happening at BRHS.

Carol Ballou

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