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LETTER: Why is Tripp-Delmont facing rapid enrollment?

To the Editor: It came as no surprise to read the Tripp-Delmont School District has announced it is seeking ways to sustain itself. The article failed to ask one key question: Why? Why is the district experiencing a "rapid decline in enrollment?"...

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(metro creative)

To the Editor:

It came as no surprise to read the Tripp-Delmont School District has announced it is seeking ways to sustain itself. The article failed to ask one key question: Why? Why is the district experiencing a "rapid decline in enrollment?" Why have 49 students, in one year, opted to open enroll in other districts? I feel sympathetic toward a school board that finds itself struggling to attract high quality teachers to a lackluster community.

In the fall of 2014, the Tripp-Delmont School Board reached out to the Tripp mayor and city council in hopes of working together to curtail criminal behavior inside the school. The mayor declined to get involved, stating that what happened inside the walls of the school was not a city matter. The school board should not be left alone, floundering, trying to find big solutions in a short period of time.

When I read Scotland, Parkston and Armour are concerned with meeting a two-year time table, it smacks of opt-out. I have no children, so my stake in this is my tax dollars. Do we continue to pump money into a dying school?

Long before the school board asks me to pay higher property taxes, I want the answer to those "why?" questions. Will throwing more money at the school bring back those 49 students? When the school eventually takes its last dying breath in 12 or 24 months, will Hutchinson County lower my property taxes? If we were discussing a large farm animal, the vet would urge us to put it out of its misery immediately and move on.

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Patrick Healy

Tripp

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