It will be interesting to see what the reaction is statewide to the press conference patrons of the Weiner School District are holding today (Tuesday) in Little Rock.
The group is attempting to show political leaders and others from across the state that the small Poinsett County district is viable both financially and academically and should not be forced to merge with another district simply because of low enrollment numbers.
I agree that the arbitrary use of an enrollment number doesn't make a lot of sense, especially when one sees the overall succcess of a district such as Weiner. Political leaders from the larger areas of the state just don't seem to understand the positive impact of rural life and values.
I have gone "back and forth" to some extent over the years where consolidation is concerned. I generally believe it is a threat to rural communities and our way of life. The supposed "cost-savings" of larger districts also have been shown to be questionable in numerous circumstances.
The other side of the issue, which we all should at least be aware of, is that various programs suffer at times because of low numbers in small districts. In that sense, we do run the risk of cheating our students because of inadequate resources and participation in certain key areas of academics and extra-curricular programs.
At any rate, I understand the frustration of the Weiner folks, who seem to have a very good school district that is threatened with extinction because of arbitrary numbers.