Caucus opposes consolidation due to cost, fewer black schools

To the Editor,

When the Robeson County Black Caucus met May 21, its members unanimously agreed that the Public Schools of Robeson County did not need to be consolidated. They outlined several reasons why this would not be beneficial to the county.

Education is the center of the community. This is why we should preserve our black schools. In these communities, teachers encourage students. It was pointed out that there are two black principals who were promised in the last consolidations jobs with high schools. However, there were no black principals assigned to one of the high schools and there have been few black teachers.

With consolidation, jobs would be lost, which would decrease the revenue. The jobs affected would include teachers, assistant teachers, and other personnel. At present, there is a shortage of 75 teachers. Additionally, we would lose students due to withdrawals and transfers. Some parents would enroll their students in private schools and others in the growing academy schools.

Comparing the Public Schools of Robeson County to Hoke County schools is not a fair comparison. That particular school system has one high school with approximately 600 students as opposed to our six high schools. This consolidation overall would mean that 30 schools would be closed. That is too many closings.

The county does not have the money to build 14 new schools. For instance, the county is now $40 million in debt with the new Department of Social Service building. It is in debt approximately a million dollars to HUD. There is a mandate from the state to fix Robeson County jails. In addition, the county has countless lawsuits.

This debt does not need to be passed on to the next generation and suffer increases in our taxes.

Jimmy Gilchrist


Robeson County Black Caucus

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