The school consolidation forum between State Rep. Mike Pitts and Laurens County Republican Party chair Keith Tripp on July 17 at Laurens District High School was informative and thought-provoking.

The two, who are on opposite sides in the debate, are reprising their roles in the second such discussion on Tuesday, Aug. 14, at Hickory Tavern School, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

A bill introduced by Pitts that would have combined the county’s school districts, 55 and 56, into one passed the House but, after quite the furor back home, died in the Senate, where it was tabled.

The District 14 representative sees school consolidation as part of a comprehensive vision to manage Laurens County’s growth. Pitts has vowed not to reintroduce his bill in the General Assembly next year, but he remains an advocate of consolidation.

Tripp opposes consolidation on mostly philosophical grounds. His opposition is, in large part, grounded in a belief that local citizens are best equipped to make decisions regarding education for themselves.

Pitts espouses careful planning. Tripp favors home rule.

The theme of the debate is “Knowledge Is Power.”