The next steps in the Chelsea school system decision

Published 10:26 am Monday, November 29, 2021

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It’s clear. Chelsea needs upgrades when it comes to schools, in particular the middle school and the high school, both of which are busting at the seams and outdated for the fastest-growing city in Alabama.

That said, is a city school system the right route?

Patience will be the key in determining that.

The city received results from a feasibility study done by Criterion K-12 Consulting on Thursday, Nov. 18, and rather than say “Yes, you can create your own school system,” or “No, this isn’t something possible for Chelsea with its current infrastructure,” representatives showed what it would take to accomplish it.

They mapped out what it would take from a millage standpoint and what would be needed to create a new school system, a new school system with high school upgrades, a new school system with a new high school and a new school system with a high school and athletic facilities. It also includes options with and without Westover, which is being considered for both annexation or reassignments into the Chelsea school district.

For some it may have come as a surprise that it is possible, but of course it is if you have the right millage in place.

The attention now, however, turns to whether it is the right thing to do or not.

The answer isn’t as simple as yes or now. Instead, it is up to each person to do their research and determine whether it is the right course of action for the city.

Yes, a new school system will improve the quality of education in many different ways, but at the same time, being a part of the Shelby County School system isn’t too shabby either.

It is one of the best school system’s in the state.

A city school system will likely allow for benefits to teachers, a new high school, facility upgrades and much more, but you also don’t want to force residents to live beyond their means.

For many residents, it may come down to affordability of property tax.

Nothing is more important than building for the future and making sure our kids are prepared, and a city school system will give them the best of everything, but the price has to be right.

Chelsea is in desperate need of new facilities, especially at an over-crowded high school that growing rapidly. There is no denying that, so if it is possible from an affordability standpoint, it makes sense.

But everybody is in a different stage in life, and it makes more sense for others than some.