Manville confirmed he has explored running double sessions at the high school, with high school students attending in the morning and middle school students in the afternoons. He has looked at moving the eighth grade to the high school, the fifth grade and possibly the fourth grade to the middle school.
“If we moved the fourth and fifth grades to the middle school, have we looked at closing one, two or even three elementary schools,” he asked rhetorically. “Yes we have . . . but let me reiterate, there have been no decisions made. All I’m saying is everything is on the table.”
It almost reads like fiction, but it's entirely true. Saugus already lost a prop 2 1/2 override, so something's gotta give... and it's looking like the Saugus School system is going to completely shatter as a result. The good news is if the Super thinks he won't be able to fit the 35 students per classroom he says he needs, any moderately wealthy family in Saugus is going to pull their kids out, along with a good chunk of everyone else. The sad thing is, as they rob their town of their child's talent, who could blame them?
Like I said, scarry stuff. What's worse still is that I can think of a half dozen towns in the same position, including Gloucester, Dartmouth and Swampscott.
I hate to say this, but I think it's time to start thinking about raising taxes by a small amount - and fixing the terrible funding formula that's completely, horribly broken. How much longer till every school system breaks? There's no more fat to trim from these budgets. How are towns to get out of this deep grave? There's just no way.
PS I'm creating a new tag for this kind of story. It's called the apocalypse: we're seeing the beginning of the destruction of the public education system in Massachusetts, a half dozen towns at a time.