Archive for Friday, January 21, 1994


January 21, 1994


The Lawrence school district's Boundary Committee has decided to present a new set of junior high boundaries.

The Lawrence school board Monday will take a look at something several parents have been clamoring to see: a school boundary scenario with equally diverse populations at the district's junior high schools.

At three recent forums on boundaries, some parents said they wanted to see a more equal distribution of students from low socioeconomic backgrounds.

The district's Boundary Committee decided Thursday to present such a scenario at Monday's board meeting. The board could approve elementary and junior high boundaries on first reading, setting the stage for adopting the boundaries on Feb. 14.

"I'm delighted to hear that they're going to look at it," said parent Sue Morgan, 4604 Turnberry Dr., who had said during the forums that she wanted to see such a scenario. "I think that needs to be discussed if that's one of the things we're trying to achieve."

Morgan, who has two children at Quail Run School, said she wouldn't mind having her children attend Central Junior High School instead of South Junior High School if it would create a better balance.

The scenario does call for most Quail Run graduates to be transfered to Central. East Heights graduates would go to the new Southwest Junior High, and New York School graduates would go to West.

Under the scenario, 23.4 percent of the district's students who receive free or reduced-price lunches would attend Central. The number would be 23.5 percent at West, 28.9 percent at South and 24.2 percent at Southwest Junior High School, which will open in 1995.

The scenario is not the one that the boundary committee is recommending. The recommended scenario is nearly identical to what was presented at public forums as Scenario C.

With regard to students receiving free- or reduced-price lunches, Southwest would have the fewest with 14.8 percent of the district total under that scenario, and Central would have the most with 40.8 percent.

Board member Renee Karr, who serves on the boundary committee, said busing students to create a socioeconomic balance would not come without its costs.

"It's still going to be a minimum of $150,000 in additional busing costs, and that doesn't take into account activity buses for after-school activities," she said.

With two new elementary schools opening in August, the school board wants elementary boundaries set soon. However, it has a little longer to decide on boundaries that will change when the new junior high school opens in 1995.

Karr said that if the board wants to seriously consider achieving a socioeconomic balance, it might postpone voting on junior high boundaries.

She said there could even be additional forums on junior high boundaries if the board pursues that route.

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