To the editor:
My husband took the headline in last Thursday’s Lawrence Journal-World (“Lawrence Schools Foundation offering donors chance to help with district’s budget troubles”) as a direct challenge. He began contacting all of the families we know in Lawrence to pledge funds needed to keep our schools open. The response has been overwhelmingly positive; nearly all families that he has spoken with immediately agreed to pledge funds to prevent harmful cuts to meet the district’s budget deficit.
While I certainly view this as a positive development, as I started thinking more about the families who so quickly agreed to donate, I realized that all of these families have children attending schools facing the risk of closure. Many families across the district are concerned about the impact of district budget cuts on their children’s education, whether through increased student-teacher ratios, larger class sizes, a reduction in enrichment programs, or school closure. Rather than just families concerned about closure, I believe that all of us need to respond to the budget crisis our district is facing.
I challenge the school district to let us know precisely how much we need to raise to ensure that schools can remain open, student-teacher ratios don’t increase dramatically and programs don’t face deep cuts.
And I challenge families across Lawrence, families with children in all 15 elementary schools, to pledge funds to preserve not just our schools, or certain neighborhoods, but the quality and character of our town.