To the editor:
The Lawrence public schools are currently facing serious budget cuts. These budgetary pressures have led to increased discussion of school closings. Once again, much of the discussion seems to focus on closing neighborhood elementary schools in the east side of Lawrence.
Since the east side schools are generally older and smaller, some believe they are “inefficient.” However, efficiency must not only focus on cost-per-student, but also on the quality of education. Here the data definitively show that small neighborhood schools contribute better to student learning, reduce the achievement gap between poor and affluent students and reduce truancy and drop-out rates. In short, small neighborhood schools are more efficient vehicles for education.
From day one, Superintendent Rick Doll has been clear in his desire to do what is “best for kids.” In this case, it is clear that it is best for kids to keep our neighborhood elementary schools open and find other means to weather this temporary budget crisis. We encourage community members to contact school board members to voice your opinions. Upcoming school board meetings are scheduled on Jan. 11 and 25 at 7 p.m. at 110 McDonald Drive.