Editorial: Doom loop intertwined with schools

Sep. 07, 2013 @ 10:05 PM

Our community’s latest step in a changing face of education happened this past week.

The news was circulating for weeks if not months, and those in the inner circle had known it for some time. Kerr-Vance Academy, the merged product of Vance Academy and Kerr Lake School and longtime pillar of private schools in the area, officially applied to go public.

Kerr-Vance is seeking charter school status for the fall of 2015. Factors that influence enrollment have dropped, and the parents choosing to send students for the solid education provided there over more than 40 years is dwindling as well.

Should the school get charter status, or be forced to some other plan, we are convinced its graduates will be among the finest. They always have been and this changing landscape in education means a singular bottom line.

Either schools will perform well, or they won’t have students. It’s just that simple.

That is the benefit in our state government releasing the charter school cap in 2011. As of Thursday’s announcement for another 26 schools statewide, there are now 155 in 57 counties.

We believe the number will rise, crest and eventually fall back. Not all charter schools are going to make it, and some may merge.

We also believe the public schools are going to get better. They will have to, just as will the private schools. It is the benefit of competition.

Any hesitation by our county commissioners or city council leaders to encourage all of our schools should be seen as detrimental to the good of the community. Policies and budget decisions should not be made with any underlying intention.

They may have their favorites, or their beliefs on the good and bad of each. But our children are going to be occupying all of them, and we’ve got to stop the doom loop that is sucking the life out of us.

Schools are a significant part of the foundational wheel making our community work. Labor force for prospective businesses, crime rates and active lifestyle choices for a diverse population are intertwined — and our schools are producing the future participants of each.

KVA isn’t the only school we need to succeed. Each of us should be hoping for the best in every single one.