Again, thank you for your comments. I will try to address your three points.
First, the School Board did truly consider the recommendations of the Joint Committee. They looked at all the information and spent approximately three months considering the recommended plan. However, they felt that the Domino Plan would best meet our needs for the following reasons:
1) The Plan will increase capacity with the least disruption of ongoing educational services.
2) It provides the best use of the educational dollar.
3) It accommodates the greatest number of students for the least cost.
4) It does not require the splitting of school populations until a number of years in the future.
5) It will accommodate projected enrollment growth through the year 2020.
Second, I have agreed that our enrollments are down this year. We have seen in the past that this happens during a downturn in the economy. However, we have also seen that when the economy recovers there is an escalation of enrollment growth for a significant number of years. I feel that we will see this pattern again and we need to be ready for it.
Third, I am truly aware of the problems with our economy. I deal with this on a daily basis both in terms of our current operational budget and in planning for the future. However, I do feel that we need to plan for the future and we can do this in the most cost effect manner by proceeding with our capital plans as they have been proposed.