I was interested to see the article from the Aug. 23 issue titled, “RBHS working to narrow 2017-18 budget deficit.” The article went on to describe how the budget at RBHS is near balanced and gave Dr. Skinkis a chance to repeat that point several times.
As a citizen who pays taxes, I am glad the budget is nearly balanced and I understand a number of circumstances have made that more difficult in recent years. However, I believe the Landmark did not live up to its reputation of telling the public what it needs to know.
RBHS class size has risen from a mean of 20.8 in the three years of 2008-10 to a current mean of nearly 26 in academic classes. Few educators disagree on the fact that larger class size results in poorer education.
It is hard to know how much this has contributed to the drop in the college-readiness of RBHS students as measured by the state-mandated ACT, which went from 70.6 percent in 2011 to 60 percent in 2016, but it is hard to believe it does not play a part.
A larger student-teacher ratio is also probably the reason that certain classes, like Pre-Engineering Advanced Drafting and others, are not offered every year so only students in every other graduating class will have a chance to take them.
The public needs to know that while the budget may be nearly balanced at RBHS, despite all the spending on capital improvements, an education at RBHS may come up short.