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Working toward a new school

Selma City Schools Interim Superintendent Donald Jefferson made an important point Tuesday night during the school board’s work session: The school system can’t build a new high school, if the system can’t pay for it.

There are options. The school board could go to the Selma City Council and ask it to put on extra millage or the school board could ask for a special election to ask voters to submit to a special property tax to build the school.

But, as things stand now, there is no money for a new high school.

This is no reason to give up hope.

The system has other issues as well. It needs to work to meet its Annual Yearly Progress, ensuring children know the very basics. It needs to work out its finances even if those moves call for consolidating schools and reducing staff in the central office. The school system needs to move forward with hiring a new superintendent.

What the school board does not need to do is fall into the safe zone of accusing and backbiting because they — and to a greater extent — the community is disappointed. Arguing among themselves does nothing to reach the ultimate goal of a quality education for every student who attends Selma schools.

This inability to pay notes on a new high school is simply a backwash from the recession. Schools everywhere have hurt in some way or the other.

Eventually, a new Selma High School will rise, and the school system will be able to pay for it.