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Survey asking La Crosse residents if number of public schools should be reduced

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Is it time for La Crosse to go back to having just one public high school instead of two? 

The La Crosse school district is asking taxpayers to weigh in on the idea of reducing the number of schools within the system. 

Superintendent Dr. Aaron Engel believes that the public will agree with a report concluding that La Crosse has too many schools for its enrollment.

“I don’t think that folks will choose the status quo, given the information,” Engel said Monday on WIZM’s La Crosse Talk. “I think there’s good information there. Folks are very thoughtful, and I’ve talked to them in person, or at focus groups, and so that combination of declining enrollment and high maintenance costs, I think folks will help us pick a good direction.”

The survey, mailed out to district residents this month, says La Crosse is the smallest school district in Wisconsin to maintain more than one high school. It suggests that the district have 10 or fewer public schools for its size, instead of the current 14.

“One strategy is to consolidate,” Engel said, “but we also want to invest in our students, and invest in our future, and prepare ourselves for the next 80 or 100 years.”

Logan High School was established in the 1920s, and its current building opened in 1979. The existing Central High School opened in the 1960s.

Nov. 8 is the deadline for completing the survey.

For those who did not receive a survey but are interested in taking part, contact the superintendent’s office at 608-789-7628 and a copy of the survey will be sent to you.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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