To the editor:
Several years ago, I joined with other east side school-watchers in signing a letter to the school board calling for a comprehensive capital improvement plan. The purpose of the plan was to ensure that, before money is spent on new schools, the older schools would be brought to a state of equity. Many school officials, board members and voters were already aware of this concept and agreed with it, not for abstract political reasons, but simply because it was fair.
I'm saddened and alarmed that conspiracy theories such as Arly Allen's are putting these improvements at risk. The argument that east Lawrence can only be healthy if its schools are unhealthy is an insult to anyone who believes in the vitality of the east side. In fact, the chances that Central will close are much higher if you leave it in its current state of disrepair (as Mr. Allen proposes) than if you invest $4 million in fixing it (as the bond would do).
As for the danger of a healthier South swallowing the city, Lawrence enrollment is actually up over the past 10 years, and the 3 percent decline over the last five years doesn't justify the dark prediction.
The deficiencies of the junior highs east of Iowa are well documented, and the inferior state of the one east side high school compared to its counterpart in the west is literally remaking the map of Lawrence.
Wouldn't it be better to address these problems by voting "yes"?