Redistricting delays: Super Bowl day, and Manchester punts
February 02. 2013 10:53PM
Outgoing Manchester School Supt. Thomas Brennan apparently ran out of gasoline, and enthusiasm, last week. Charged by Mayor Ted Gatsas and the school board last September with coming up with long-needed redistricting plans, Dr. Brennan labored and brought forth - not even a mouse.
That is most disappointing and the school board, which seemed eager to entrust the decision to Brennan, now finds the problem back in its lap. It needs to make some decisions. Will its members, up for election in the fall, be prepared to do so?
Brennan's conclusion was that the issues are too complicated to come up with a solid plan in short order. Wonderful. That was also the case last September. Now it is four months later and nothing, apparently, has been done.
The middle schools are out of balance, with McLaughlin particularly under-used. Meanwhile, Beech Street elementary is bursting at the seams, although the trailer classrooms have been temporarily shelved. Other schools are also out of balance. But no one, other than the mayor, seems to want to seize the issue and make some choices.
Yes, it may mean little Johnny doesn't go to the same school that his older sister attended. It may mean that a middle-schooler has to spend more time on a bus than did her sister. It may mean, as board member Sarah Ambrogi suggested last week, that people have to stop looking at the Merrimack River as some sort of insurmountable divide.
Since there is no money to build new schools (and since the need for elementary school space may ease as demographics change), the school district and taxpayers need to be practical. And they need to do it now.