Declining enrollment in Dothan’s public school prompted years of discussion about its effect on government funding and how school officials should react. Several scenarios to revamp the school system were run up the flagpole, and then cast aside. Leadership changed; ideas changed; resolve changed. A direction was committed, and a strategy to close several schools, consolidate the city’s two high schools, and streamline public education in Dothan was set in motion when school began several weeks ago.
When the dust settled, adjusted enrollment was 333 students fewer originally expected. The dip will result in a loss of tax funds, which are calculated on a per-pupil basis. But it surely must have been anticipated in the brainstorming that went into the consolidation effort. After all, the whole idea behind restructuring was to reduce costs and make the most of what is available.
The changes have been bumpy; that’s to be expected as well. We anticipate that glitches have been or will be worked out, and students, teachers and staff will quickly adjust.
With regard to funding, the challenges our schools face aren’t unique. Public school systems across the nation face the same obstacles. Many founder without adapting to the changes.
We applaud our school board and education professionals for putting forth the effort to reshape our public schools to meet those challenges.