NWA Letters to the Editor

Bella Vista district

not backed by facts

Once again, the unsuccessful political [candidate] Jim Parsons is trying to stir the pot to create a Bella Vista School District.

Parsons is once again misinformed and misguided in his try to break away Bella Vista from Benton County School District No. 6 (Bentonville). He states it is "unreasonable" for a city with a population of 30,000 to not have its own school district. Sorry, Jim. There are lots of cities of 30,000 in other states without their own school district. Arkansas already has 268 school districts and another School district is not needed.

Parsons also proposes that his new school district would not need additional taxes as the state foundation funding would be sufficient. I point to the fact that additional funding was required when the North Pulaski School District (Jacksonville) was created a few years ago. His proposal is so lacking in fact that additional commentary is not required.

If Parsons is so concerned about children having long bus rides I suggest he face a reality about public education today and focus on why there is only a single elementary school in Bella Vista. The limiting factor is land, specifically sites of sufficient size to support a modern public school. I believe the state requirement for an elementary school is a minimum of 11 acres and the minimum acreage increases for each higher education level.

Bentonville schools are not perfect but the various schools in the district consistently rank at the top for educational achievement. Changing just because the Bella Vista population is growing is not a good reason to change.

I urge Parsons to abandon his effort to tear apart a fine school district to burnish his ego. I urge Parsons to begin an effort to find acceptable building sites so that the school district can possibly build more schools as the population of Bella Vista grows. Oh, and good luck.

Robert Anderson