Cris Criswell: Let poor ol' Dinosaur have its school

Poor ol' Dinosaur.

We collect taxes on the mine and railroad and properties there, and I'm sure there is state land that contributes to schools. But oh no, no school for Dinosaur; it doesn't meet standards.

Well, I'm old and went to a country school just north of here that had 20 kids in one room --ne through eight --ne teacher who built a fire in the school every morning, and there were no bathrooms. I'm sure that school wouldn't pass this school district's standards.

I always thought the state required the district to educate all children, even ones with severe disabilities. I guess now the district can pick and choose.

There are several reasons the district doesn't want a school in Dinosaur. First, someone has to go there on occasion, and there are no glitzy rooms or lavish meals or a place to throw down a few and charge it to the district.

If Dinosaur was more like The Broadmore in Colorado Springs, educators would be lining up to go there. Dinosaur must have once had its own school board, but many years back, they probably were talked into consolidating with Craig. Big mistake. Dinosaur schools were no doubt promised the moon. I was around when these things happened, and that's the way it was.

The old timers, at the time of this consolidation craze, said: "If you lose the schools you lose the town." Fifty years later, that is truly the case. First the school and then the town. Dinosaur will never be a town without a school. Who would want to live there?

Now Dinosaur is trying to have a school of its own, and the district just won't leave them alone, saying Dinosaur doesn't meet requirements. What requirements? The schools in Craig might be substandard if an inspector from the outside wanted them to be.

In the Craig area, I'm surprised at the number of home-schooled children.

If the information I have is correct, the requirements for these home schools are very lax.

It seems the district promotes this, as there are more home-schooled children every year. Why not let Dinosaur's schools have the same lax requirements and standards? I want to know whether state funds are collected by the district on these home-schooled children? If so, is the money spent to educate home-schooled children?

So let's let Dinosaur have its own district back. Let Dinosaur and Maybell have their own district and collect their own money. They can spend it on their schools as they see fit, without the Craig School Board interfering.

Cris Criswell

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