For the fifth time the voters of Hampton Falls have rejected an expansion to the Lincoln Akerman School. Einstein defined doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome as insanity. Now is an opportune time for the School Board to consider listening to the voters. School officials previously announced that if the $7.4 million bond article failed for the fifth time, it would bring in modular classrooms to the school grounds to help alleviate space issues at the school. Perhaps it is time to think outside the box.
Hampton School officials have previously reached out the Hampton Falls School Board about consolidating the middle school grades into Hampton Academy. The Hampton Falls School Board apparently rejected this out of hand, but with Hampton voters approving a $26M expansion / renovation bringing the Academy into the 21st century, perhaps it is time to reconsider this exciting option. We suggest holding a public hearing on this idea to seek input from the residents of Hampton Falls and Hampton. The cost of educating the children of Hampton Falls has risen from $9,423 per pupil in 2001 to $20,557 in 2016, during the same period Hampton per pupil costs increased from $7,342 to $15,769. These amounts are according to the New Hampshire Department of Education and do not include the capital cost of facilities and debt service. It could provide a better educational environment for the students of Hampton Falls than modular classrooms, a better utilization of Hampton Academy with a significant decline in its future enrollments projected, as well as a significant cost savings to the taxpayers of both communities.