We don’t know about the students, but the Manchester School Board and district officials have real trouble with numbers. Just over two years ago, they paid an outside consultant to tell them they were going to need more space at the elementary level because those schools were overcrowded. Let’s set aside just what defines “overcrowded” these days. The question is why did it take an outside consultant (and at what cost) to count heads and to determine whether that count would increase or decrease? Doesn’t the district have this information?

No matter. Numbers don’t lie, or so the saying goes, so based on this study the district has undertaken a controversial redistricting effort that includes relocating upper elementary grades to middle schools. That plan hasn’t progressed much due to parental and neighborhood opposition and added costs for middle school fixes.

But hold on, there’s more. The district and school board (with the hapless Mayor Joyce Craig in tow) have since paid for yet another study and this one says that rather than being overcrowded the schools are awash in empty seats, particularly at the elementary level. What you ought to do, advises the new consultant, is close four elementary schools along with Central High School. Think of all you will save in maintenance costs!

We have yet to see the explanation for why the board and district thought another study was needed just two years after the last one. Some board members, perhaps feeling the egg dripping down their faces, are demanding to know where all the missing kids went. We wouldn’t have been surprised if the board ordered pictures of the truants be placed on milk cartons. Instead, Craig and company have given the new consultant two weeks to produce the data that support his conclusions.

Mayor Craig says the maintenance savings on scrapped buildings is “overinflated” because her city doesn’t spend much on maintenance now. She didn’t say that would change; but she had a truly stunning view of the “empty seat” issue. Craig said that this was a result of a deliberate decision to “try to reduce class size and improve educational outcomes for our students.”

Meaning what, exactly? That the “overcrowded” claim in the previous study was a sham and the redistricting exercise a ruse?

Manchester parents and taxpayers have reason to be extremely skeptical of any claims or data coming out of their school district this year. One thing they can count for themselves is the time left before city elections this fall.

Sunday, April 18, 2021
Friday, April 16, 2021

A Dartmouth college student who wants to become a member of the town select board has a bit of a problem. He will be returning to his home state this summer, when the election will be held.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

What does it say about New Hampshire government priorities that it adds a new and unnecessary office (see related editorial today) but can’t provide its Site Evaluation Committee with someone to open the mail and inform the public about public hearings?

How on earth does Fidelity Investments intend to add 475 jobs in New Hampshire without the assistance of the state’s new Office of Outdoor Recreation Development? Or is the company, which is hiring 4,000 people nationwide, relying on this latest government office to reel in recruits?

Sunday, April 11, 2021
Friday, April 09, 2021

This week’s arrests in connection with the former Youth Development Center in Manchester should have no bearing on the future of the John H. Sununu Youth Services Center, its contemporary. The allegations are of sexual abuse from decades ago. More power to Deputy Attorney General Jane Young …

Merrimack voters have an election to decide this coming Tuesday, April 13. They lost a fine House representative in December with the sudden death of Dick Hinch. Hinch was a steady and reliable citizen politician. His loss weighed heavily not just on Merrimack but on the Republican Party as …

Wednesday, April 07, 2021

Pembroke Academy’s athletic director no doubt has the right to dismiss his track and field coach for refusing to follow official protocols regarding mask-wearing by spring track and field athletes. If competing schools are following the mask rules, a maskless Pembroke team might have an adva…

The Wall Street Journal did a superb job of calling out President Joe Biden for his hypocrisy regarding changes to state voting law in Georgia — unless, of course, Biden intends to also have America boycott the next summer Olympics in Communist China.

Sunday, April 04, 2021

New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner knows a thing or two about election law. His concern over a Democratic bill now before the U.S. Senate (and supported by Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan) is legitimate.

Just in time for Holy Week, a so-called “rapper” gained much attention for himself by selling pairs of Nike sneakers with, he claimed, the distinguishing characteristic of a drop of blood mixed into each pair. “Satan shoes,” he called them.

Friday, April 02, 2021

Gushing comparisons of President Joseph Biden’s latest spending proposal to the U.S. moon landings or the building of our interstate highway system fail to impress. The latter two needed to happen. Much of what Biden suggests is wildly irresponsible and wholly unnecessary.