OP-ED: Is It Time To Close American Schools?

EF Stock / shutterstock.com
EF Stock / shutterstock.com

Across the country, the story remains the same: kids graduating high school are not prepared for the real world. Urban or rural, districts are contending with educating students using aging resources, and a dwindling number of students attending class. Combined with shrinking budgets and a lack of people qualified to teach who are willing to take the job, suddenly, it becomes almost impossible to justify keeping the schools open.

In many parts of the nation, there is a simple solution: merge the districts.

Closing down a district or two can help solve many of the problems facing our public schools. Combining their budgets makes many positions like principals, secretaries, bus drivers, and even teachers suddenly full of redundancies. Keeping classroom sizes within state standards is usually very simple, too. Even in urban classrooms, they can keep the student-to-teacher ratio tolerable.

Not just limited to book education, this also has a practical purpose in teaching kids how to interact with others. Many of us have seen that mesmerized look wash over a child’s face the first time they see someone who looks starkly different from them. By being exposed to a wider variety of people and ideas, children enter the real world as more complete human beings.

Opening their eyes to the real world like this also means the school has more opportunities to learn about their specific interests. Kids more interested in art often get more mediums to try out. Those who show a knack for STEM programs enjoy tremendous growth from opportunities with more hands-on learning. Even programs that are first eliminated, like shop and home economics, can often return following a merger.

So yes, it’s time to close American schools. Consolidating efforts and resources is smart business for the district, good for taxpayers, and, most importantly, best for the students. Let’s ensure the next generation of Americans gets the best possible opportunities to be successful.