The many and varied suggestions postulated by several letter writers in the Suburban (May 22) may have been well meaning and heart- felt, but all failed to grasp the salient issue that confronts English speaking schooling. That conundrum, as Chris Eustace noted, is numbers. All other concerns pale in contrast to this singular over-powering reality.

Members of the English communities can plead, lobby, march and/or threaten petitions along with legal challenges, but none of these actions will deal with the fundamental problem of declining enrollment.

Not one contemporary individual leader or lobby group has offered a political or social strategy that will halt falling demographics. Furthermore, no realistic scheme has been proposed that will offer any form of long-term stability such that the overall English school system can stop continually planning for shrinkage and begin to create safe positive learning spaces for its students.

Without serious efforts and creative insights, our school boards - whether elected or not - will continue to deal with school closures and transfers, extended disruptive bus schedules, and watch once centered community schools morph into scattered and isolated regional facilities with no locale grounding.

Jon G. Bradley

Associate Professor (Retired)

Education/McGill University

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