The Brainerd School Board should be commended for clearly outlining four options regarding the expected increase in elementary students in the next five years. Pro-active consideration of upcoming enrollment problems gives board members the time they need to make informed decisions.
It's been particularly valuable to hear the school board candidates weigh in on the issue before Tuesday's Brainerd School Board election. Voters have had the chance to note whether candidates give thoughtful or knee-jerk responses. The process gives voters a degree of insight into how the candidates go about making their decisions.
One option that sticks out as a poor choice is the plan to relocate Baxter fourth-grade students to Forestview Middle School. They might be just a little too young and the school just might be a little too big to provide for the optimum learning experience.
It might not be a bad idea to postpone the decision for a year. Due to a changing economic picture, the normally reliable predictions of enrollment numbers might be a little off this time. Perhaps the influx of students won't be as big as anticipated. And if this is a temporary increase in school enrollment, the district might consider just biting the bullet for a year or two until the school population returns to its normal level.
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