To the editor:
The League of Women Voters of Lawrence/Douglas County believes that closing any local elementary schools would be detrimental to Lawrence children and their families, to the neighborhoods in which they live, and to our city overall. We urge the school board to take alternate, less permanent action in resolving the temporary budget crisis.
The League believes, as stated in our Local Land Use position, that elementary school service areas should match neighborhood boundaries.
Lawrence cannot afford to undermine the east side’s budding resurgence at time when home values are plummeting across the country. Young families who might otherwise settle in our community’s historic core will move elsewhere. Current residents will scramble to sell before their dwindling assets become liabilities, and will consider relocating to a school district that can provide a more competitive education for their children.
If our city hopes to retain its citizens and attract employers, we must be able to offer quality schools and safe, affordable neighborhoods — we must offer opportunity. Youth achievement is fundamental to a community’s immediate and long-term successes, and it begins with early education.