To the editor:
Much has been said about the $1.4 million that the school district will save by closing schools. And it has been alluded that this savings could, but not necessarily would, be used to strengthen teacher salaries and benefits. Since these "potential" savings would come in varied and incremental fashion from different expenditure pools within the district budget and there is no surety that these savings will materialize, with the basic increases in insurance and the cost of doing business that everyone else is feeling, such a notion to increase teachers salaries is ludicrous.
One aspect of closing the schools that has been targeted by the school board has not been addressed in any substantial form by supporters of these closings: the additional costs of sending children to school faced by the parents whose nearby school is being shut down. Before last year's decision by the school board to charge for busing and school activities, there were nine children in my neighborhood riding the bus. This year, there are three. Parents had to choose between school activities and transportation. How are the Riverside, Centennial and East Heights parents going to pick up the extra transportation costs? Do they get to struggle like the rest of us to put together car pools and coverage for their kids?
The school board's action to close schools may save them money, it may not, but it will most certainly cost the families whose children in those schools time and money, and add a little more stress to their lives.