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Lester: Much more to consider in Richwood school consolidation

As a senior student of Richwood High School and resident of Richwood, West Virginia, I emphatically oppose school consolidation. As opposed to asserting that “the majority voted,” potential consolidation must be analyzed considerably more altogether. Numerous other imperative variables must be drawn nearer, for example, geographic, social, and financial components.

It’s anything but difficult to derive that most people residing in Summersville voted in favor of consolidation, while most that dwell in Richwood cast their vote against the dreary consolidation. It’s protected to state, most of the people living in Summersville voted in favor of combining schools, however, an amazingly tiny minority of people living in Richwood voted in favor of it.

Likewise, we should think about the geographic format of Nicholas County. If we somehow happened to consolidate, our schools would be situated in Glade Creek. Children that reside in Richwood, WV would travel an estimated 46 miles every day. In any case, kids that live in or near Summersville, WV would just travel an estimated 10-20 miles every day, if that.

Besides, monetarily, consolidation would be far too expensive — particularly for families living in Richwood. As indicated by Census Bureau information, in the year 2017, in Nicholas County, most students residing in Richwood are more bound to live in neediness than those that live outside of Richwood.

In Richwood, the median household income is $27,311, almost 66 percent of the sum in Nicholas County as an aggregate, which is $39,037. In addition to that, 30.5 percent of individuals live underneath the line of poverty, which is more than 1.5 times the rate in Nicholas County. Also, 58 percent of that 30.5 percent living in destitution are people younger than 18 years of age.

Socially, consolidation would cost students their education, prosperity, and future. A larger school would make students feel less included, less enthused, and would cause even more stress in their day by day lives. Students’ grades would drop, due to an absence of consideration from educators. Furthermore, a bigger student body, with less after-school activities, would diminish student interest altogether. Also, because of the long bus and car rides, students that live in Richwood would be disabled from spending the correct amount of time with their families.

In conclusion, small schools give a more noteworthy feeling of help, belongingness, and wellbeing, which enables students to be increasingly included, enthused, and productive. As opposed to being close-minded, people for consolidation must begin to be receptive. When you think about the geographic, economic and social factors, it’s unmitigated that consolidation would be a poor choice.

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Jharad K. McClung-Lester

Jharad K. McClung Lester is the founder of The Richwood Leader. He's a bi-weekly columnist at the Rogue Review, and has words published in the Charleston Gazette, Lone Conservative, and FlipSide News.
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