Best chance to keep Lick Creek School open

To the editor,

As a long time resident of the Lick Creek School District and a retired teacher, 25 years of which I taught at Lick Creek School, I have a sincere interest in the academic success of the children in our community and in having the greatest chance of keeping Lick Creek School open.

Lick Creek School is the heart, soul, pride and joy of the Lick Creek Community. Lick Creek School offers the warmth and nurturing of a close knit community with unique educational opportunities.

With its small class sizes, the teacher to student ratio is excellent. These small enrollment numbers and a decreasing enrollment trend, however, may be the fatal blow for Lick Creek School, causing forced closure and/or consolidation by the state in the near future.

The proposed reorganization of our four local districts, Lick Creek, Jonesboro, Anna and Anna-Jonesboro Community High School, will be the best assurance of Lick Creek remaining open and retaining its identity and autonomy.

Along with creating Lick Creek's viability into the future, there are many benefits to reorganizing the 4 districts into one:

•Incentive money up to $6.2 million over the first four years.

•Cost savings through elimination of duplicated services and administrative salaries conservatively estimated at $579,500 the first year alone.

•A shift in administrative salaries to teachers' salaries enabling equalization of our teachers' salaries, therefore retaining Lick Creek teachers.

•Keeping all four buildings open.

And as an educator, I feel the greatest benefit:

•Curriculum alignment for the three AJHS feeder schools resulting in:

•Having the same educational goals and objectives, teaching from the same textbook and having equal preparation for high school, giving our children increased opportunities for success.

Many people I have talked to have questions and have received misinformation about the proposed reorganization of our four local school districts.

I would strongly encourage all voters to become informed before the March 20th vote, by visiting the website <a href="http://districtstudy.com">districtstudy.com</a> to find accurate information about the proposed reorganization, to verify my points, to find further links to state consolidation facts and other pertinent information.

A common concern is the possibility of a tax increase. In fact, taxpayers in Lick Creek, AJHS and Anna will have no new taxes due to reorganization and Jonesboro will even see a decrease.

Current tax structures would stay in effect. Currently Lick Creek has very little bonded indebtedness and with reorganization would remain as such, without being saddled with other districts' current indebtedness.

Vote yes to reorganization on March 20th to take control of our educational destiny. If we wait, the choice will not be ours and forced consolidation and closure may be eminent, without the benefits or incentives.

Vote yes March 20th. It's our best chance to keep Lick Creek School open.

Respectfully submitted by Nancy Herbert on behalf of the Committee of Ten


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