Parents and community members in Plumas County are uniting, they say it's to save their schools. A budget study of the Plumas County School District was released in January, and several recommendations were made by the administration team. Recommendations include school consolidations, along with possible school closures. " This is happening way too fast, and we need to get community input to come up with a better solution," said Chester resident Trudi Dillard.
The administration team recommends consolidating the elementary schools in both Indian Valley and Quincy, and closing the Greenville High School. Students from Greenville would then be bussed to Chester High. But parents are against the recommendations, and say busing children is too dangerous. " Forcing them to be bussed halfway across the country, over an hour a day to school, I just don't think that's a viable option," said Don Schlueter. Dillard adds, " When we have snow, you're looking at probably a couple of hours on a bus with chains and no seat belts."
The recommendations come in part due to major enrollment losses, combined with the loss of regular federal timber payments and other tax revenues. Those issues have the district facing a four-million dollar deficit. But some community members say closing schools isn't the answer. They say if the school goes, the town is sure to follow. " No body will move here with small children if we do not have a school," said Dillard.
The board is weighing all options, and hearing from community members before making a decision, which should come in April. A decision Indian Valley resident Guy McNett feels is coming way too soon. " It doesn't make sense. It's not prudent, it's not good business sense, it's not good education sense. We need more time."