The Carroll County Board of Education finds itself in a position most political/governmental bodies loathe. They have to limit their power and at the same time anger their constituent base.
Elected bodies prefer to increase their power and constituent base thereby contributing to the perception they are too important to cut or reduce. This also contributes to the perception if they are cut or changed that the most vulnerable people in our society will be harmed in one degree on another.
The public education bureaucracy needs to learn a lesson rarely taught in the classroom or discussed in union meetings. The lesson is public education is subject to supply and demand just like the rest of us. The demand is down. Therefore reduce supply to make best use of scarce resources. The public education system wants to be immune from the economy. When times are good give us more money; when times are bad give us more money anyway. After all it's for the children.
Now the public education monopoly is faced with cold hard facts that student enrollment is declining. No amount of spin from the Carroll County Education Association and the Maryland State Education Association can fudge the numbers. The declining enrollment cannot be graded on a scale. And no tax increase can produce humans.
The Board of Education needs to decide which schools to close and how to draw new districts. Board members would rather be sending out press releases about how much money they allocated for programs. Instead they will make some enemies that will be visiting the Board of Elections website to find out how to run for the two seats up in 2016.
Some parents and mayors in the county are pushing the panic button when the words "school closure" are mentioned. The sky will fall and communities will fall apart as if the only thing holding communities together is a school building. Never mind that people do more for a community then a school building.
According to the Maryland Constitution students have the right to a free public education. However, there is no right to a school building across the street, around the corner, down the block, within a town, a zip code or a certain time period away by bus.
It is time for change. Let's hope parents teach their children change happens in life and how children respond is the lesson to be learned.