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Archive for Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Lawrence parents plan Save our Schools rally for this weekend

A group hoping to keep neighborhood schools open plans to march in downtown Lawrence this weekend.

February 2, 2010

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School closings on the line in Lawrence

With a $4 million budget deficit growing to $5 million, the likelihood of school closings seems to be increasing.

Members of Save Our Neighborhood Schools are organizing for Saturday a rally and march down Massachusetts Street.

The group formed in December to advocate for keeping classes going at all 15 Lawrence elementary schools. The school board faces a $4 million budget deficit for next year’s general fund budget, and closing schools is one of the proposals to try to narrow the gap.

A rally will begin at 11 a.m. at Liberty Hall, 644 Mass. T-shirts, yard signs and supplies for making posters for the march will be available, said Jessica Beeson, a march organizer and parent of a Cordley School student.

Organizers are trying to get representatives from every elementary school to participate in the noon march from Liberty Hall south to South Park.

Comments

multiagelearner 4 years, 11 months ago

What about a group that supports equal classes and materials. How is it equitable if my son's class has 28 kids in it and across town another student in the same grade has 13. Come on Lawrence...don't make it emotional, make a business decision. Look at the numbers, and think a little bit farther than your own home. Your child will be educated! The board is talking about cutting all first and second year teachers-they will be without a job, your children will still have a school to go to! These people are loosing their jobs!

broddie 4 years, 11 months ago

I think I'm "loosing" my patience with people who can't spell.

commuter 4 years, 11 months ago

broddie - relax a little and quit being so anal. It is Lawrence, what do you expect?? Maybe they didn't proofread and most people need spellcheck. It maybe a sign of our education system anyway. By they way, are you a teacher??????

spiderd 4 years, 11 months ago

Hey multiagelearner, The class ratio is going up everywhere no matter what. Closing a school doesn't come close to solving the budget. And guess what... closing a school is a way to cut teachers. Untenured teachers, lots of them, are going to lose jobs regardless of school closings. Labor is 85% of the district's budget, thats the only slice of pie you can find $4 MIL in. You're right, let's think of this as a business decision, closing an East side school is an extremely poor business decision for a lot of families that live there. You wanted to live in the suburbs and you do and that's fine. Meanwhile some of us are busy keeping the town of Lawrence vital.
Oh, and if you really get worried about your class size, anyone's welcome to transfer their child to any school with room in it... but I suspect you would prefer your child go to your neighborhood school too.

Steve Bradt 4 years, 11 months ago

Looking at it as a "business decision", what happens to the property values of the resurgent areas of E. Lawrence that are left with no schools? And what happens to the downtown business district when E. Lawrence gets ghettoized?

four11 4 years, 11 months ago

YES ---I am going to march for ALL neighborhood schools!

puckstah 4 years, 11 months ago

Doll's goal is to close schools, and he's driving all of the data and the representation of that data to that end. (I sure hope the LJW presents the information accurately, not in the messy misleading way I think the district leadership want them to.) The process is ridiculous. Look at Manhattan, Wichita, Topeka, Shawnee Mission, Olathe websites - their information and process is transparent and available. Why isn't ours? Why are so many people (administrators, board members, community members, families) spending so much time, effort, money to achieve very little to amicably fix the budget? Doll and the board need to rethink their process - and jump into the 21st century. It's not too late to do the right thing, come on Board leadership, step up.

SayWhat 4 years, 10 months ago

Puckstah is right. I watched the meeting on TV and I was shocked at how they presented the data. When looking at adjusting school boundaries they skewed it by using current class sizes instead of the necessary adjusted teacher/student ratios. For some reason the administration seems to be throwing inane information out in an effort to confuse and divide parents. Closing schools or not, they will still have to lay off roughly the same number of teachers, so there's no benefit in closing schools.

yankeevet 4 years, 10 months ago

Will there be free doughnuts and coffee?? Now that i am unemployed; i am getting hungry...............

orbiter 4 years, 10 months ago

"Isn't 4 million about what they spend on the empT per year?

If you voted for that boondoggle, I dont want to hear a word from you about your neighborhood schools. The sock was empty when you voted for the empT. You are now getting paid back.

Keep public (vagrent) transportation and defund our schools. Gawd, aren't we a caring and generous bunch of folks here in Lawrence."

--The State Legislature caps what local govts can tax for schools, genius. Now, can we not hear another word from you?

Kyle Chandler 4 years, 10 months ago

Healthcare Mooch

I actually use the 'empT' as you call it ....and im far from a vagrant.

save you ignorant ramblings for a tea party or something even more worthless.

ahimsa 4 years, 10 months ago

This is an article about education, and I totally agree with broddie. I am sick of the English language being slaughtered by us Americans. Not only do so-called educated people constantly mistake "loose" for "lose," look at the misuse of the apostophe all over the place--even on major television networks. Hey people--an apostrope does not automatically precede every word ending in "s." Apostrophes are used for contractions (like aren't) and for possessives like "Johnny's" as in Johnny's Tavern. We don't need more teachers; we need more teachers who graduated with a B+ or better GPA.

methastophalize 4 years, 10 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Tracy Rogers 4 years, 10 months ago

The march needs to end at the Capitol steps in Topeka.....That's the only place where there's people who can make a difference.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 10 months ago

No one knows if the district will be $4 million short or not. This is speculation.

There is no way USD 497 is losing money. Lawrence is not losing money because New York School has the ultimate class size for so called lower income at risk neighborhoods.

Also bear in mind USD 497 has been encouraging retirement of tenured teaching staff over the past several years thus reducing the cost of operation substantially.

Want to raise money? Sell the extravagant USD 497 admin building? A real estate deal that never should have happened.

Sell the admin building to help offset the cost of running all of the new athletic facilities. How of an increase in the cost of operations is that reckless spending bringing to the taxpayers? We are forced to pay for construction then forced to pay for operations. Taxpayers did NOT vote in a tax increase for either.

Sales tax revenue could go to public schools: Teacher Salary Support http://www2.ljworld.com/polls/2003/mar/teacher_salaries/

imamomma 4 years, 10 months ago

No matter what, teachers are going to get moved around, students are going to get moved around, non tenured teachers will be pink slipped, replaced, and pushed away and new college grads fresh out of their internships with their dreams of becoming teachers and beginning their lives....yeah that's not going to happen......Veteran teachers close to retirement will be pushed towards retirement a little earlier and offered incentives to hurry up and do so...just a little more spending not spoken about in front of the public. Lawrence isn't a very pretty picture right now. So sad.......makes for lots of headaches......a lot of hard feelings.....and a lot of sleepless nights waiting.....

JohnDa 4 years, 10 months ago

Great rally today. Close to 1000 people marching down Mass street. For those that think that closing schools saves money, I encourage you to attend or watch the Board meeting on Monday. You will find that closing buildings doesn't save much money, so it makes little fiscal sense. For those who think our schools are overfunded, you may have a screw loose somewhere.

Education is an investment, not an expense.

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