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Archive for Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sending out an S.O.S.

Save Our Schools exhibit set up to help prevent New York, Cordley from closure

From left, S.O.S organizers Kristin Morland, Alee Phillips, Lora Jost and Paige Comparato.

From left, S.O.S organizers Kristin Morland, Alee Phillips, Lora Jost and Paige Comparato.

January 30, 2010

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Past Event
"Save Our Schools"

A day of imagination, creation, and possibility for our neighborhood schools

  • When: Saturday, January 30, 2010, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Where: The Lawrence Percolator, In the alley behind the Lawrence Arts Center, Lawrence
  • Cost: Free
  • More on this event....

Although the walls of the Percolator gallery will be lined with art and memorabilia from the grade schools of east Lawrence, the event highlighting these artifacts of innocence is far from child’s play. Save Our Schools, intentionally abbreviated to the distress signal S.O.S., is an exhibit intended to keep Cordley and New York schools from permanently closing their doors.

“As we understand it, the school board is saying $4 million in cuts have to be made for next year,” says Alee Phillips, member of Save Our Neighborhood Schools and S.O.S co-organizer, herself with two children attending Cordley, 1837 Vt. “We’re trying to think creatively and help them think creatively so those cuts can come from somewhere other than the closure of our schools. We believe strongly that can be done.”

Through interactive and multimedia pieces, the S.O.S show and opening reception will kick off a campaign that aims to start a conversation about the endangered bond between east Lawrence and its schools. “Our mission is to draw connections between community and neighborhood and schools and learning — that’s the most important thing we want to show in this exhibit,” says Lora Jost, a regular artist at the Percolator and mother of a Cordley student. “We’re showing pictures of neighborhoods alongside school assignments. There are pictures of our bodies and our children’s bodies interconnected next to information about the history of our schools. All of these things represent the parts of the whole thing — our neighborhoods and our schools are all combined and mixed together.”

Artwork from the students of the affected schools

Artwork from the students of the affected schools

The organizers of S.O.S. firmly believe the shuttering of Cordley and New York, 936 N.Y., would not only be a loss for the families who have invested so much in these schools, but a loss for Lawrence at large.

“I think saving our schools is important because of the fragility of these older neighborhoods,” says S.O.S. co-curator Paige Comparato, with two children at Cordley. “Without a common institution where these communities and families can gather and thrive, the neighborhoods will eventually deteriorate.”

It’s a concern about the future character of Lawrence these mothers think should be shared beyond the east side.

“This show is about showing the past and the present, but also about how we’ve invested in these communities for our future,” says Kristin Morland, S.O.S. co-organizer, whose two children attend New York. “It’s not just a celebration of the past, it’s to remind people that the community is not going to be here if we don’t put the work into investing in it. It’s going to be gone. We don’t want to see it thrown away just because of a budget crisis. This community is still really vital, and we want it to stay. Let’s find other ways to make the cuts that need to made. In 2003, three eastside schools were closed. The east side has already taken a big hit in school closures. We just can’t afford any more.”

Class Dismissed

In spring 2003, the final classes exited the doors of three elementary schools with long and proud traditions within the Lawrence community. Find out more about the Centennial, East Heights and Riverside schools.

The schools that closed in 2003 were Centennial School, 2145 La.; East Heights School, 1430 Haskell Ave., now an early childhood program center; and Riverside School, 601 N. Iowa.

Perhaps an art gathering, the thinking goes among these east-side activists, can achieve the sort of impact that three minutes at a microphone in front of a school board meeting can’t convey.

Parents create Save Our Schools exhibit

Parents worried about school closures have created an exhibit of art dedicated to saving Lawrence's neighborhood schools. Enlarge video

“It’s not just an opportunity to say what these schools mean to us, it’s an opportunity for school board members, legislators, movers and shakers and people from other parts of town to come and see what this is all about,” says Dave Loewenstein, famed Lawrence muralist and the Percolator point man for S.O.S. “I think it would be a tragedy if young kids didn’t have the opportunity to go to school on the east side. That’s sort of what we’re faced with now. That’s an incredible tragedy for many reasons. It would be a loss of the wealth of knowledge and history and creativity that this part of town is known for. These places are irreplaceable, in my estimation.”

While this will be a celebration of the schools and communities of east Lawrence, with everything from poetry readings to portraits of playing children, the festivities and their organizers will be driven by an underlying urgency.

“If your neighbor’s house is on fire, do you watch it burn? No. Well, we’re not going to watch this burn,” Loewenstein says. “We’re going to go in there, and even if it requires some risk, we’re going to save it.”

Comments

workinghard 4 years, 2 months ago

"no intention of closing any school at present" What I got out of it was they are not saying it is their intention just yet, today, but could be announced next week. In other words it could very well be their intention, they're just not ready to announce it.

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Kat Christian 4 years, 2 months ago

Last week there was a meeting at Cordley and what I got out of it there was no intention of closing any school at present. They did talk about the shortfall budget. 3M short this year but that can be remedied by taking 2M from the contingent fund leaving only 1M short. Next year is what we really need to worry about. But why can teachers take a week furlough from pay like some businesses have done. Work w/o pay. I know this is a lot to ask for, but perhaps parents who don't work can help out on that week to ease the load for the teachers so they won't feel pressured. That could be a savings for this year anyway. Perhaps next year if it works out we can do this again. Just a thought!!

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KSManimal 4 years, 2 months ago

"using the current budget as a vehicle to drive their agenda."

And that follows all the way to Topeka, where the anti-tax, anti-school knuckleheads are loving every minute of this manufactured crisis.

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spiderd 4 years, 2 months ago

Wow not_holroyd, Wilbur sure hates a lot of things. I can't think of anything he likes. Oh wait, yeah I can... attention. Even if its only from the anonymous internet community. Sad.

Count me in as a taxpayer willing to fund public education. Count me in as a taxpayer willing to support Lawrence history. Count me in as someone working on finding solutions. Count me in as someone not fooled into thinking the school closings are solely budget driven. The administration and some of the board are using the current budget as a vehicle to drive their agenda. Count me in as someone who thinks that's wrong.

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cherry1 4 years, 2 months ago

As someone who teaches in a Lawrence school, I need to weigh in on the idea of shutting electricity off and dropping heat to 50 degrees over the month of December. While it is true that those measures may save money, you have to realize that many teachers work over the holiday break, not because we want to but because we have to in order to be prepared for the coming semester. If the building is inaccessible over our winter break, I would not be able to the job I love as well as I am able to do it now.

This is a difficult time in Lawrence; I hope we can all come together and try to find the least invasive measures possible to serve students while saving money.

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KSManimal 4 years, 2 months ago

Wilbur.... Oh, where to start....

First, you talk of money buying "mostly fluff" in education. One question for you on that: Have you personally reviewed the school district's budget? I'm guessing not. You might try that (it's called "doing your homework") prior to spouting off. You have no clue.

Second, you say that the amount of state taxes paid doesn't come back in terms of per pupil funding for education. Well DUH! The state does provide many other things, you know: prisons, law enforcement, judicial systems, highways, wildlife & parks, KDHE, KBI, etc., etc.,... If it were up to me, I wouldn't require your types to pay any taxes.....and then prohibit you from driving on any tax-funded roads, or buying any goods and services delivered on tax-funded roads, or using the protection of law enforcement, courts, etc., etc.,....see how well you fare without all the things our taxes provide for you.

Third, nice try blaming professional development on the teacher's union. Again, it seems the dog ate your homework. Professional development is required by state statute - school districts MUST have a professional development program, and the union has nothing to do with it.

You're shooting blanks three for three. What else ya got?

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not_holroyd 4 years, 2 months ago

You see, the problem with ole one-eye is that one of his parents taught school. He went to the old University and got his degree in education, and chose not to teach.

Instead of teaching he took one of those "blue collar jobs" that he mentions above that "built Lawrence."

I personally think he figured out working at that big corporate warehouse paid more than teaching, and probably had better fringes too, so he put his time in and retired 20 years earlier than most teachers will.

So maybe he did learn something from his parents growing up. Teachers don't get paid much.

He rants so much about education, public and higher, that you have to figure it is class-warfare or something.

Meanwhile he lived most of his life less than a block from campus. His property directly benefits from all this public investment in KU. He has the best city bus access in the city. A free fountain. Close to that new fancy underground bar too. Without KU, his property wouldn't be worth didly.

He hates the schools, KU, fountains, the City Commission, the County Commission, the school board, the Chamber, all the staffs thereof, roundabouts, heck all government employees for all I can figure. Hates buses, bus systems, homeless shelters, neighborhood associations, some guy named Loring and some lady named Marjene. Ran for office once, I don't think he broke 1%. Youve read his posts. Any wonder why there is not a lady in his life?

If people like him that own under-appraised and under-taxed property would cough up their fair share, things would not be so bad.

Or he could cash out move to a smaller town without these problems. Which is periodically suggested.

In any case, his posts show you his thought process. I think those 1% people who voted for him were accidents and his bar buddies.

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workinghard 4 years, 2 months ago

Clearly you didn't understand my post but keep saying everybody else doesn't understand. I did not say anything about the issue at all. But since you dragged me into it, if your so unhappy about it, why don't you sell your Lawrence property?

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commuter 4 years, 2 months ago

As a parent of children whose school was closed in the last school closings, I empathize with the parents and their pleas about their school is nice. The district has a $4,000,000.00 gap to fill in the budget next year. Please feel free to open up your checkbook and give the district some more of your money.

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oneeye_wilbur 4 years, 2 months ago

workinghard, might want to work a bit harder and figure out that there is no more money, workinghard, what is it you and LadyJ don't understand. many own property in Lawrence but cannot vote for the fluff bond issues that are perpetuated in Lawrence by whining parents. at some point there will be less and less out of town investment in the community, do you not understand that industry aka commercial property is owned by out of town owners who have no say whatsoever in funding for the schools, except to be taxed until they finallly come to the realization that Lawrence is not the place to be bringing jobs.

how many of those in the picture are privately employed with someone in Lawrence and that employer pays local taxes again, when Walmart pays $380,000 some dollars and 1/2 of it, i.e. $190,000 goes to the district, how many district jobs does that pay, NOT many.

Lawrence has no money, the till is empTy, just as the bloated bus system which is empTy.

Keep attacking wilbur, but something is going to be closed. Sell off the Dairy Barn, and the district would still be 3million short. This is one year, what about next and the next year thereafter. What is the plan for these SOS folks to save money in 2011, 2012, 2013? Raise taxes? Sure, do that and drive off more potential employers. They can go elsewhere for one reason, there is no labor force in Lawrence. And when these new retirees come, they aren't going to work if they have enough money to come here and if they don't have enough , they won't work either because they will be in public housing.

The district is broke and in denial and thanks to a bloated bond issue not long ago and before that, the reaper has come.

To the parents of SOS, figure how much of your property tax bill goes to the local district. If it's 1,200 dollars and someone in the district makes 120,000 a year, then it takes 100 properties just like yours to pay ONE person.

Do the math. Maybe the Journal World would do a real story and tell the public how many persons are employed in the district, no names, but how many at different wage levels, give the salary. Enlighten the pubic in Lawrence, even though they are college educated , they are way below average in common sense. Lake Wobegon, Lawrence is not.

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workinghard 4 years, 2 months ago

Guess wilbur can dish it out but can't take it.

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kugrad 4 years, 2 months ago

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

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LadyJ 4 years, 2 months ago

I have a meter that I can plug into an outlet and then plug in an appliance or electrical device. I can then determine how much electricity it uses in a month. I now unplug just about everything when it is not in use (vampire energy) and which ones are real electricity hogs. Maybe each school could do an energy audit (no you don't need to hire someone) and find ways to cut electricity.

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LadyJ 4 years, 2 months ago

onceajhawkalwaysajhawk__ thank you for a constructive comment. Hope they look into it.

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LadyJ 4 years, 2 months ago

"You are a big blowhard" couldn't agree more. Boy wilbur, you really have some issues. Did you go off your medication? What I said was, if I did not live in Eudora, even though I own property, I would leave it to the people that live there. They are the ones that will be personally affected. Closing Cordley could result in families moving away, resulting in the student ghetto extending to 19th street if not 23rd street. As a "resident" of Lawrence, I do not want to see that happen. There are many lovely homes in that area, what is wrong with them wanting to preserve their neighborhood? And I think you are calling the wrong group of people "elitists"

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onceajhawkalwaysajhawk 4 years, 2 months ago

The University of North Carolina State save ONE MILLION DOLLARS in utility bills over the Holiday break by shutting down the buildings lights and turning thr thermometers to 50 in less than ONE MONTH!

I wonder if USD497 has looked into cost savings like this? KU/Haskell and the city should definately be doing this!

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oneeye_wilbur 4 years, 2 months ago

LadyJ, FYI, people in Eudora pay property taxes for property in Lawrence, and that helps to fund the Lawrence schools. Again, LadyJ, maybe you could get the J/W to do a story about how and where the school funding comes from. Are you suggesting that the investment banking firm i New York city that owns property in Lawrence has no say on school funding or expenses? Would you prefer that they bulldoze their commerical real estate and take it off the tax rolls. Maybe you would understand then if the Santa Fe industrial park businesses laid off employees, if some of the businesses at EAst Hills shut down, that would be okay since many would be out of a job, then they would move and the school enrollment declines and then there is reason to close a school.

You see, LadyJ, just what I said earlier, in Lawrence the only ideas that are welcome are ones that satisfy the whining parents and the over educated . The problem in Lawrence is that with USD 497, it is the second largest employer paying nothing into the tax base, so therefore, of course no one with the district wants to be layed off. They then would have to move or seek employment with blue collar workers who helped build this city decades ago.

Lawrence has become an elitist community and is now suffering it's fate from overspending.

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mom_of_three 4 years, 2 months ago

Wilbur, I know one of the parents pictured, and I would not consider her or her husband a helicopter parent.
You are a big blowhard, who know nothing about the women pictured.
Cordley took a lot of kids from Centennial when it closed. How much further will you ship Centennial neighborhood kids away - Broken Arrow, Prairie Park, Kennedy?
SO many generalizations about parents. Too bad you don't have a clue.

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oneeye_wilbur 4 years, 2 months ago

Eudora will suffer the same fate as Lawrence. See, even beobachter and Lady J, exhibit the same elititist attitudes that Lawrence is suffering from.

The schools will be closed, makes no difference which ones, that is the way it works. As for Lady J, questioning the professional development, that is one of the problems with the teachers union. Get rid of it, and the district and all schools would be better off, Ask any teacher privately and they would agree. Ask Mr. Doll and probalby would too, as the teachers union is a hinderance to education. Gee wasn't one of the teacher's union members in Lawrence the pne tjat absconded with monies? Some representative that dude was of the teachers.

STFU, is exactly what wilbur says is the norm for Lawrence. Elitists with little common sense.

As for the professional meeting, it costs the same with school open or closed. The kids love it. Another day off.

Time for change. I bet the fools in Lawrence who voted for the last bond election for change, voted for Obama as well for change. Change you got, and change you wil get again, and there is not enough spare change to fund a district run on emotion.

Sell Cordley to Loring Henderson. Close New York and move the admin staff into it. Sell off the Dairy Barn building at a loss. Bulldoze Centennial and make a detention pond for all of the run off from poor planning of the sports fields and bleachers around LHS. A perfect example of a bond issue that went amuck, and passed by brainwashing from an outside firm, because the issue itself had no merit to pass on it's own. How much is the district paying annually to service the last bond issue?

Eudora will make cuts soon as will other communities if they have not already. The next round of layoffs is coming shortly and then what? Blame Topeka, blame Bush, blame China(now there is a possibility!), when China wants it's money it has been loaning, lthen complain.

You want to protest something, stop buying all of this imported crap for the kids, like Ipods, flat screens, get them some sticks and teach them to build a fire from two twigs instead of coddling them.

Hovering, helicopter parents like gnats on rotten fruit are the doom of civilization.

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LadyJ 4 years, 2 months ago

Wait a minute, wilbur lives in Eudora? Why does he even think he should have any input? I would not even think of telling people in Eudora how their schools should be run or what to do with them. Why don't we run a shuttle bus to Eudora twice a day and send the homeless people to Eudora so they can camp in his neighborhood every night if he knows so much.

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7texdude 4 years, 2 months ago

These are nice people doing good work, but the bottom line is where is the $4 million? I agree that closing schools is a bad option, but what other choice do we have? I'm against the closure of any school, but how do we pay for them? We can point fingers at people, politicians or corporations, but it doesn't change the fact that we have to cut $4 million off the school budget.

No one wants raise taxes, but no one wants to stop tax cuts on businesses. In the meantime, people complain and nothing gets done. At least these ladies are trying to do something. I applaud them and wish them luck.

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beobachter 4 years, 2 months ago

wilbur, since you live in Eudora and hate Lawrence, why don't you just STFU?

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LadyJ 4 years, 2 months ago

All schools are out Monday for Professional Development during which teachers will attend meetings at Freestate. What is professional development, why did school have to be canceled for it, and how much is it going to end up costing us? Is it my imagination or does wilbur remind anyone of hawkperched?

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Nikki May 4 years, 2 months ago

Ok, I kinda get New York (I don't want to see it closed, but they are VERY low enrollment). But, why Cordley? Is Cordley paranoid or is this really a likely option? Cordley has more kids than Broken Arrow, Pinckney, Sunset, Wakarusa Valley, and Woodlawn.

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Kat Christian 4 years, 2 months ago

I would hate to see Cordley close. My boy attends this school and is getting a wonderful education there not to mention the security of going through the years with schoolmates since he started in Kindergarten. The teachers are great, their philosophy is awesome, just can't say enough good things about this school. Although I don't know how this art show will help other than to get the message out there, but I don't know if anyone else other than the parents of the kids who live in our neighborhood really care if this school closes. These mothers have good intentions and I wish them the best. It would be a tragedy for sure if Cordley closes and it would be fair to say closing these neighborhood schools will deminish the neighborhood itself. Well I'm willing to do my part to keep it open.

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oneeye_wilbur 4 years, 2 months ago

KsManimal, even if these "parents", "parent" did complain some time ago to the legislature, to those in Topeka, no one seems to understand that TOPEKA, has to get money from someone, something to fund all of this mostly fluff in education.

I wish each and every parent or adult who has a child in school would look to see exactly how much they paid in state income tax, local property tax to the state, sales tax to the state, add those amounts up and see if it comes remotely close to what the state sends back to the school district for each child.. The answer is simply NO> and the amounts will continue to get less.

Now then, if the JW would do a real factual story about the same information, then the public would be in shock as to why there is not enough money now or in the future.

Again, the story about Walmart paying $380,000 some thousand dollars in taxes. Given that amount and 1/2 goes to the local school district, just how far would that $190,000 go? Not far, maybe pay the superintended and a flunkie employee.

These parents just don't get the math. Lawrence runs on emotion and not much intellect.

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oneeye_wilbur 4 years, 2 months ago

Where are the fathers objecting?

As for businesses wanting to locate where there are good schools, maybe that poster just revealed why the businesses aren't coming.

It was made clear at a meeting, which the J/W didn't report, that businesses aren't coming unless there are nice housing areas for their employees. The city has neglected most everything east of Iowa for the past 3 decades. Neighborhood Resources has diverted federal monies to rehab houses in areas outside the 5 target neighborhoods.

Check your facts, all of you who doubt what wilbur says. You want facts, meet me and I'll show you the facts. The inner city neighborhoods, by city standards are blighted. The schools have had enormous amounts of money spent on them because of emotional attachments instead of intellectual needs.

The rebuilding of South was driven by realtors who whined that Indian Hills would run down without a school. Well, Centennial is closed and is the area any more rundown than without a grade school. From what I was told today, with LHS there, there are insurmountable problems with all of the infrastructure fancy, athletic fields, etc. You see, an ill conceived bond issue has taken this community to where it is.

Next will be another pleading for another bond issue and another outside firm will be brought in to brainwash a bunch of helicopter parents who hover over their children like nats over dead fruit.

The kids will be fine. They need to learn about change.

Close the necessary schools, Mr. Doll and if you cannot convince the board, then move on to another district that needs leadership, because this district has been lacking for some time.

Opinions at a school board or otherwise are discounted unless one is a "single' parent whining, or a parent who has a college degree, but the board will never listen to logic and common sense. Lawrence runs amuck on emotion. Lawrence does not listen to the blue collar laborer. Lawrence has become an elitist overeducated town, which became what it is by having blue collar jobs, blue collar workers living in Lawrence. Dupont, FMC, Farmland, Quaker, KPL, Hercules, Stokely, City of Lawrence trash department workers(who are getting bad rap now!!!! for no reason), the many self owned businesses scattered throughout town, junkyard operators, grain elevator employeess,,,those days are over, only one with a Degree is considered worth of comments and anyone else is supposed to sit down and shut up.

So, now Lawrence schools are getting what should have happend some time ago, which is a severe look at spending and budgeting.

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KSManimal 4 years, 2 months ago

I've heard a lot lately from people wanting to save their neighborhood schools. The problem is you're too late. Our school district must find a minimum of $4 million in cuts. Not $4 thousand, not $400 thousand, but $4 million. That's nearly 100 teacher's salaries, and close to the entire district administration's salaries. Our district is at the mercy of the legislature, and they have few choices. I'm sure you all mean well, but let me ask you a few questions.

Where were you in 1992 when courts began ruling on school finance litigations? Where were you in 2004 when the legislature, rather than complying with the court's ruling to increase education funding, instead approved a bill allowing accelerated appeal of the ruling? Where were you in March 2004 when then attorney general Phill Kline appealed the court's ruling that schools were underfunded? Where were you in May of 2004 when the legislature adjourned without complying with the court's order? Where were you a week later when Judge Bullock issued an order to stop school funding entirely? Where were you when, given an April 2005 deadline from the Supreme Court, the deadline came and went with no funding solution from the legislature? Where were you in 2006 when the legislature produced a three-year, $466 million funding plan but failed to enact any source of revenue to pay for it? Where were you in 2008 when Kansas faced a $140 million budget shortfall, and predicted a $1 billion shortfall for 2009? Where were you throughout 2009 as a series of budget cuts took over $300 million from education funding, and required Lawrence Public Schools to carve over $5 million from it's budget? Where were you when, month after month, the legislature failed to actually pay school districts the money they had promised?

Where were you when you could have made a difference?

OK, got that off my chest. Maybe you CAN make a difference - but pleading with our local BOE, with all your nice displays, isn't the way to do it.

You need to focus your efforts in TOPEKA. Tell me this - how may legislators have you invited to your display? Have you invited the Governor? Heads of the taxation and ways & means committees? Anyone?

Those are the people who can solve this problem, not our local BOE or district administration.

Get busy.

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sherlock 4 years, 2 months ago

does anyone have information on what outside organizations pay per use of the various schools in Lawrence? There seems to be an influx of other towns around sports that play ball in gyms or use of the fields? How much do they pay for sat. games that donot include the students of the school they are playing in? How much does the church that meets weekly at South Jr. high pay on Sunday and has for quite a long time? Would seem that somewhat expensive when : the bldg. has to be heated for non school projects, plus school employees have to be present to unlock and lock the doors, someone has to clean up following these activities, etc. All expense against the school system. So do they pay their way or is it just another freeloading that we as tax payers are paying out?

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kugrad 4 years, 2 months ago

oneye, your comments are always ill-informed, negative, and anti-public education. However, this time you have crossed the line. In your dogmatic frenzy to find something to say, you insult the parents who are working hard to save something they believe in. You ask how many would be willing to work hard for something they care about. What the heck do you think they are doing? You ask irrelevant questions whose implications speak volumes about your lack of character and sound judgment. Why would it matter if these women were single moms (something you put in quotations as if there were great implicatons to being single) FYI they are not You stupidly suggest that bake sales and the like could keep a school open! That says a lot about your knowledge of this situation. Rather than understanding the historically proven fact that businesses choose to locate in communities with excellent schools, such as Lawrence, you spew hollow rhetoric claiming the expense of public schools keep businesses away. Ludicrous. By the way, I happen to know 2 of these families, both walk to school. I don't know the other 2, but I see one of them out walking a lot in the neighborhood, so I'm going to guess they walk too. You are totally uninformed and/or misinformed about this issue and have written a host of ridiculous diatribes here, all with a heavy dose of disdain for anyone who would try to stand up for their neighborhood school and our school district in general. Do us all a favor and post about some issue about which you are actually informed.

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jazzttt 4 years, 2 months ago

As a Cordley alum from 50+ years ago, I'm just curious where the students who currently attend there are supposed to go if it closes; Centennial was closed, where's the nearest elementary for them to attend? Although NY has few graduating students, where are they supposed to go? Lawrence should have neighborhood schools where students can bike or walk to attend without extensive bussing or need for parents to gas up the car and transport them. (I walked to Cordley daily from 23rd and La. for a year.) By the way, Cordley is WEST of Mass, is it still an East Lawrence school? I went to the 90th anniversary Cordley celebration in 2006 and it seemed pretty viable and dynamic to me, the school was in decent [but not perfect] repair, I realize I'm no longer a Lawrence taxpayer but hate to lose this historic infrastructure to the McMansions out farther west. Ty Travis, Pine Bluff AR, Cordley alum 1950-57

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four11 4 years, 2 months ago

Yo- oneeye-- I hope by your comments you will take the time to educate yourself with real facts before you start spouting out this---

--I know that as a one car family we walk to New York School--my husband takes our 1 car and drives to work--we have no other choice but to walk...and there are many families like that at our school and Cordley who are in the same position. --Also- if they sell Cordley--it will not help this current budget crisis--in fact the money will go into the Capitol Outlay fund--not the general operations fund--- we are prohibited by law to use money from one fund to put towards another. You know if you are going to take the time to read this article and take the time to make ill informed comments-- take the time to find out ALL the facts. Go to a school board meeting if you are so interested in making comments!

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honestone 4 years, 2 months ago

honestone (Anonymous) says…

One-eye…What have you got against the Cordley neighborhood? Did they hurt you somehow? Why would you suggest closing a school that has just recently had a lot of hvac, ada and other infastructure work done? Why would you suggest closing a school that has a fantastic program for children at risk? Why would you consider closing the last elementry school in that area? Why would you further destroy the neighborhood by suggesting the flophouse be placed there? You obviously don't live anywhere near there.

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oneeye_wilbur 4 years, 2 months ago

JUst wondering of the four pictured , how many drive their kids to a school? Would these four women be willing to have fund raisers, donating their time during the day to bake pies, weave rag rugs with the kids to raise money for programs at the schools they want to keep open, I doubt it. These mothers look like they are having more fun than the kids, who could care less. The kids are being brainwashed by a bunch of helicopter mothers. Wonder of the four how many are "single" moms?

All they want is for the schools to stay open at any and all expense. They are not promoting SOS with tight budgets. They are promoting SOS , which is what we used to call a breakfast dish in the Army.

Close the schools now , rather than later. This is what Lawrence gets for passing an ill conceived bond issue the last time, a bond issue that couldn't float on it's own, it was so bad that an outside firm was brought in to sell it to a bunch of helicopter parents and a self serving Chamber of Commerce. Now Lawrence USD 497 is faced with the realities of life, of running a financially sound district. It's about time, the feathers started to fly. Dr. Doll, show some guts and stand up to the board, if not, move on, and they can get another flunkie to do their bidding. The board doesn't have the guts to make hard , sound finacial decisons. It's now or later.

Sell Cordley to Loring Henderson and charge him $4million. That solves one year's budget woes. You see, the district doesn't even have a plan for the next year and the year thereafter.

They too, are relying on the wealthy retirees to bring a new influx of inflated devalued dollars to this "Flaw on the Kaw".

Close the schools, cut the budgets, lay off if necessary, but get the school portion of property taxes back to 1/3 of the total instead of over 1/2. No businesses of substance are coming to Lawrence because the school district is like a hungry hog, always looking for the next garbage can to raid.

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unklemonkey 4 years, 2 months ago

This is ridiculous. According to the USD497 statistics, New York elementary houses 142 students. They have a graduating class of 13 students this year. However, the district is still funding New York with $1,288,845 this year.

The solution seems pretty clear to me. Close New York. Move the students to their respective schools. The kids will love it wherever they go.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 2 months ago

We live in a state which has a legislature controlled by a legislators whose stated philosophy is that government should always be underfunded, so it is, especially the schools.

So, yes, the schools will always be asking for more money, which is exactly how people like you want it, commuter.

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commuter 4 years, 2 months ago

Big Prune - school districts will never have enough money, they will always find a way to spend it and still say they need more.

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barrypenders 4 years, 2 months ago

The Government People do not have a clue how to make money in the 'Free Market'. They only know how to 'Take' money from people the can make money in the 'Free Market'.

Stimulus, Progressive Articulate Dictators, and Posercare live unprecedented.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 2 months ago

This isn't about the schools asking for more money, Prune. This is because the state has decreased the amount of money available, (due largely to tax breaks given to those who didn't really need them, and who didn't come through with the jobs that were supposedly going to follow) violating the state constitution in the process.

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BigPrune 4 years, 2 months ago

didn't we go through this school closure business like 5 years ago?

Why don't the schools ever have enough money? What's the freaking deal? They take take take then they want more more more. No amount is ever enough. So sick of it all.

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Tom Shewmon 4 years, 2 months ago

I'm thinking about the 70's, shag doos, disco and tight smelly polyester pants all of a sudden.

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seriouscat 4 years, 2 months ago

Best of luck to the organizers in making a difference! I sincerely hope these schools can keep their doors open for many more years.

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quimby 4 years, 2 months ago

Such an important issue, and I couldn't agree w/ you more about how important it is to keep these schools open - bravo for organizing this effort!

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Kookamooka 4 years, 2 months ago

These people on the front line of this battle deserve medals for bravery. I'm proud that there are still people in Lawrence willing to fight for the cause. Education is crucial. Neighborhood schools nuture the mind, spirit and community. Megamentaries, like those in DeSoto and TX are appalling. Save our schools.

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Jessica Hull 4 years, 2 months ago

Looks great ladies! Thanks for all your hard work! We will see you today.

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reverber 4 years, 2 months ago

How much money could USD 497 save by dumping proprietary software (Windows, OSX, Microsoft Office, Outlook) and going with free alternatives (such as Linux, Open Office, etc.)?

More food for thought from the BBC: Keeping schools in Russia's provinces afloat http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8452325.stm "These children in the Pskov region of north-west Russia are lucky to be at school. The school was set to be closed by the authorities but their parents battled to keep it open - and won. "

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