Support for preventing New Brigden school closure

Dear Editor,
We would like to take this opportunity to provide some clarification on the unfortunate situation our community of New Brigden is facing.
For those that do not know, our small school in New Brigden, Ab. is facing potential closure.
This is the result of a few different factors, the most influential being the approval of busing for students from New Brigden to attend school in Oyen.
The Prairie Rose school board has been quoted as saying the cause of our low student enrollment is depopulation.
However, this is a misleading statement. There has been a decrease in student enrollment since the granting of busing to Oyen, but our small village and outlying community are facing a repopulation, with young couples and families moving back to the area.
There are now many small children in our community who may never have the opportunity to attend our fantastic rural school.
Many people seem to think that closure of the school in New Brigden will result in the direct increase in funding for the other schools in our ward, however this is incorrect. If our school in New Brigden were to close, the allocation of funds does not automatically go to the surrounding schools.  It is simply reworked back into Prairie Rose School Division’s budget.
The closure of the school does not automatically mean saved money either. The 1.0 fulltime (FTE) teacher position is a permanent position, meaning this salary is not cut or saved, the job is simply moved to a new school.
We do ask for support for our school from the surrounding communities.
However, we acknowledge that there are many who do not support our cause, or understand why we are fighting so hard for our small school.
From these people we ask that if we do not have your support, could we please have your understanding.
The division caused our once enthusiastic and vibrant community, issues that run deep.  We see and experience it daily when we are in town, trying to plan community events, or visiting with friends and family.
We are all working hard to provide the best for our children. We believe all of our children deserve the best possible education and we feel that New Brigden School offers exemplary educational and unique social and recreational opportunities that best suit our children.
We recognize that the surrounding schools have many notable attributes as well, but we do not see this as an either/or situation.
That is why we will carry on working hard to prevent the closure of our school, while continuing to support the enrichment of surrounding schools as well.
“There is more power in unity than in division” ~ Emanuel Cleaver
The Friends of New Brigden School,
 New Brigden, Ab.

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