I just read the report on the joint school board meeting of last week.
I didn't attend the meeting, but based on the report, I only missed one item of interest. I hadn't heard that HJHS has capacity to add all of Litchfield's students, and that LHS could accommodate all of the HHS students. If that resolves the building issues in both Litchfield and Hillsboro, if the busing costs make sense, and if Litchfield buys in, then I would be the first to vote in favor of consolidation.
The decision to implement a school consolidation is complex and time-consuming and shouldn't be taken lightly. However, talking and waiting and waiting and talking and then putting the issue in front of voters a year from now doesn't address any of the issues we face now. Every day we wait for a decision is another day that the HHS building is neglected. If we put the proposal in front of voters a year from now, then spend another year waiting and talking, then two years will have passed with more neglect but without a decision from the board. The voters of Hillsboro have already decided that they don't want to pay for a new building. They want other options, and this one appears to be viable.
My suggestion is that the Litchfield and Hillsboro boards meet every Saturday for open-to-the-public, all-day sessions because two hours once a month just isn't enough. Both districts have wants and needs. The joint meetings should attempt to address the issues with a published summary. Follow that up with another public meeting, and make a decision based on the facts and opinions in evidence. No matter what, some people will be elated, some will be disappointed, but at least we could move forward.
I feel like we are passengers on an airplane in a perpetual holding pattern and low on fuel (money). Our elected officials need to decide whether we are going to make a bumpy landing in a cornfield or ponder the issue until we run out of fuel and crash.