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Opinion: No need to rush-bake a school district

An Orem-only school district is not the answer that will benefit children

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Orem High School in Orem is pictured on Aug. 20, 2020.

Orem High School in Orem is pictured on Aug. 20, 2020.

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

“When” and “how” make all the difference in success or failure. In my kitchen, a cake has a better chance if I bake it at 350 degrees for 32 minutes rather than baking it at 495 degress for 15 minutes. Turning up the heat to cook it faster will ensure cake failure. The current proposed Orem School District split is the equivalent of elevating the oven to 495 degrees because a few are more interested in taking the cake out of the oven now rather than the quality of the cake.

I am not opposed to a district split; I would be surprised if Alpine School District doesn’t split in the next few years. However, I am 100% opposed to this split. An Orem-only district will have massive negative ramifications for students, educators, families and the city itself. While the feasibility study has glaring credibility problems, one of its biggest weaknesses is that it only looks at the financial viability of a new district. Rather than just financial feasibility, we also need to look at human thrive-ability. Money is just a small part of the foundation on which successful schools are built.

It is shortsighted for a small group of elected officials (and a few wealthy friends) with personal political agendas to attempt to speed-bake a new district at too high a temperature. I would much rather turn down the temperature and wait for the cake we actually want to eat. When the Alpine School District does split in the future, it should be an educational decision, not a political decision.

This current district proposal is in an oven that is too hot, and this result is far more important than a cake. Vote no on Prop 2!

Dr. Joseph N. Jensen

Principal, Timpanogos High School