Archive for Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Some parents not against closings at last forum

The Lawrence school board heard from both sides of the school closing debate Tuesday night at its fourth public forum.

March 3, 2010


School closing criteria

Lawrence school board members haven’t decided whether they will close any elementary schools. But administrators are making a list so that board members can compare schools if they need to.

The list for each school includes how many students a building can hold; current enrollment; age of the building and its major renovations; special programs at the school; its proximity to other buildings; how far the building could expand and its square footage; and whether the school made Adequate Yearly Progress on its math and reading assessment tests.

On Tuesday, members of the district’s Equity Council asked administrators to provide board members with other information, like how many students would be displaced and the range of distances students would need to travel to get to their new school.

Nothing brought the crowd to its feet this time.

Compared with Monday night when school district patrons at Central Junior High were united against closing any schools, the Lawrence school board’s final budget forum Tuesday at West Junior High was more of a back-and-forth.

A large contingent of speakers Tuesday still pleaded with board members to keep all schools open and make other cuts to close their expected $5 million budget gap. Several other parents warned board members about the effects of creating larger class sizes at the district’s larger schools, such as Quail Run and Langston Hughes.

Everett Ledbetter said all of the district’s elementary schools were academic success stories for the district and needed to stay open.

“Why would we rush to mess that up?” asked Ledbetter, a Sunset Hill parent who represented a group that included other parents and the Sunset Hills Neighborhood Association.

But Kitty Ware, a Langston Hughes parent, asked board members to not increase the student-teacher ratio for savings.

“Increasing class size would disproportionately hurt schools at or near capacity enrollment,” she said.

Budget options

Because of the state’s budget crisis, board members are considering how to cut at least $5 million before next school year. A majority of board members have said they were willing to at least consider closing schools to help make up the shortfall. It would save the district between $400,000 and $600,000 to close one school.

Board members are also a pondering how deep to go on a list of about $3 million in administrative and school program cuts that range from $250,000 in cuts to district administration to having fewer librarians, guidance counselors and nurses.

Raising the student-teacher ratio is the other main cut option on the table. The district can save about $1 million and cut about 20 teaching jobs for each increase by one student. This also would mean larger elementary classes and fewer junior high and high school courses.

The group Save Our Neighborhood Schools and others have urged board members to make other cuts but keep schools open.

Board President Scott Morgan last week mentioned a scenario that included closing Sunset Hill and Wakarusa Valley for next year. Several parents from those schools addressed board members at this week’s forums.

Geri Hartley, the Sunset Hill PTO president, on Tuesday said the school has had to cope with a smaller building for 20 years because the district hasn’t upgraded its elementary schools.

“We’ve been dealing with it because we’ve been told ‘it’s coming,’ ‘you’re on the list’ or ‘give us three years’ or ‘next time’,” she said.

Jo Andersen, a former Lawrence mayor, said the city is known for its “healthy urban core” because of its neighborhoods and their schools. She said some cuts to school programs and teaching jobs might cause lower test scores the next few years but said those cuts could be restored when the economy turns around.

“Think about your legacy; make the decision that can be reversed,” Andersen said.

Morgan said he didn’t want his “legacy” to be lower test scores for a couple of years.

“That is that child’s only chance to have that,” he said. “Those kids are not a number. Those kids are individual humans.”

Other responses

Board members listened to audience members for most of the forum, but they did respond to some questions. Board members defended cutting much deeper into district administration.

“There isn’t a huge red flag that we just have ungodly fat sitting in the administration and that we’re just ungodly fools,” Morgan said.

Rich Minder and Vanessa Sanburn have said they want to make cuts without closing neighborhood schools.

“I personally think that’s what the majority of the community is asking for, and I’m comfortable as a single board member making that happen,” Sanburn said.

Board member Bob Byers said no board members want to close schools, but he said the severity of the budget crisis has forced them to consider the option.

“My stopping point is I will not undereducate our children across the district in order to save a school,” Byers said.

Board members will discuss their budget cut options again at the 7 p.m. Monday meeting at district headquarters, 110 McDonald Drive.


make_a_difference 8 years, 2 months ago

Thank you Bob Byers for making the point of "WILL NOT UNDEREDUCATE OUR CHILDREN ACROSS THE DISTRICT IN ORDER TO SAVE A SCHOOL" . This has been on my mind for a while now. I would hate to see cuts to instrumental music, choral music, art, theater, special ed, gifted opportunities, sports, etc across the district so that, in comparision, a smaller group of kids doesn't have their school change. Yes, I understand that it feels unfair to those intimately affected. I've been there, done that, many times. But the larger picture is that your child's education would be impacted by those mentioned cuts...isn't it better to have a better well rounded education in another location.

I know it's hard to be faced with your childs' school family was at Riverside & had been for 14 years when it was closed. This is truly a highly charged emotional issue & it can be difficult to step back and attempt to see the larger picture. Which is that yes, things will be changed if a school closes...some things possibly lost...but that doesn't have to be a bad thing. Different, yes...uncomfortable, yes, at least for a while. You would be surprised by the good things you can't/don't anticipate now. And good things would happen. And the reality is that the kids will take their cues from the adults around them. If approached with a flexible, positive, can do attitude (attempt to shelve the highly charged emotion...please), these kids will survive & flourish. Life skills can be learned from situations such as this that will only make them stronger & better able to handle the bumps in the road that are guaranteed to come their way.

My fear & belief is that we are only beginning to experience what is coming our way with the economic conditions facing us. I feel that it's going to be a long road to travel with several years of continuing difficulities for all of us. We need to do everything to have all of our school districts children thrive & flourish. And thrive & flourish they certainly will do when met with a loving, supportative & positive attitude from those adults around them.

make_a_difference 8 years, 2 months ago

Just to be clear...I'm not saying that I'm favoring closing schools. I'm saying that sometimes we have to, just have to, make decisions that we hate. And when faced with that, we can either make it worse for ourselves or work to make the best of the situation. And in the process set an example for our kids on how to handle difficult things.

This happens to be a situation where I clearly see both sides. And empathize strongly with both.

I do not envy our school board & staff considering the decisions that are going to have to be made. I am hoping that they are given wisdom to recognize them & then strong enough to make them. And strong enough to weather the back lash that will surely come their way. Because no matter the decisions, there will be back lash.

I also hope that the families affected...all of our districts families...are able to find ways to discover their own personal strength in loving & supporting their children.

Centerfield 8 years, 2 months ago

Missing It...

Why do people want to live and raise families in Lawrence? Because it is not Topeka, KCK, etc... Seriously, what do you think will happen to areas of the town that suffer these closures? If you were to say we have two or three big, elementary school factories that we roll out at the same time, then there would be less economic damage to specific areas of the city. But that isn't going to happen, is it? Much of what makes Lawrence a thriving community compared to much of the states cities is because it has not made education a commodity.

Some parents are also failing to note the following.

"Exceptions" for your child to attend a school in which you live outside of the boundary will be OVER. Your children will need to attend the school they are supposed to attend.

Closing any school will push some schools over the capacity they are already complaining about. Look at the Board documents... Sunset Hill for example will put over 100 in Deerfield, more than 100 at Quail, about 100 at Hillcrest. How will that affect the children's performance? Will they be better educated in this way?

As painful as the ratio change (plus 1 or 2), at least that would allow schools to align their remaining resources in such a way as to best educate the kids they already know. If that means they mix classes to better manage class sizes (i.e. high achieving 4th graders mixed with some 5th graders in need of further development) let them work with the parents of the community school to do what they need to do for the best outcome.

This really has divided Lawrence in a way that I could not have imagined. When I hear a parent or child talk about their school, it isn't focusing on the "building" as some want to suggest. It is their neighborhood "center". All of this divisiveness makes me wonder how well "closed school kids" will welcomed at their "new school".

Robert Rauktis 8 years, 2 months ago

So, how many of these neighborhood schools are really attended by ambulatory children as opposed to the auto drop chute? If the cost of energy were realistic, concise communities, and neighborhood schools would make sense. Gas goes to $4.oo per gallon, cohesive communities make sense, if not, spread ALL the services (police, fire, decent roads, school pupils and services , to hell (or Topeka) and beyond. Unfortunately, sentimentalism doesn't pay for public services.

GardenMomma 8 years, 2 months ago

I wonder if the parents who are opposed to raising class size by two are aware that closing a school near them will actually increase class sizes by three or four?

Closing Sunset Hill will actually create class sizes of 34 students at Quail Run in 4th grade. And no less than 27 in grades 1, 3, and 6. Did they realize that?

alm77 8 years, 2 months ago

Garden, I was wondering why those parents who are "so concerned" about class sizes don't transfer their kids to a neighborhood school. Our family lives in one of the full-capacity school boundaries and we drive our kids across town every morning. We're not the only ones either. If more people did that, the bigger schools could let some staff go without much impact. But I'm not saying it's an actually practical solution, at least not for a lot of people.

spiderd 8 years, 2 months ago

alm77- That's a wonderful point. There is an option currently available that would allow any parent that doesn't like their class size to transfer their child. If its that important to them, that's a sacrifice they could choose to make, for the benefit of their child and all children. If its not that important to them and they would rather stay at their neighborhood school, I would understand and sympathize with that - welcome to what most of Lawrence is talking about. The key here is that they have a choice - and its exactly the kind of choice that people need to be considering before they publicly push for a change to other children's and families' life that deprives them of choice.

sickofdummies 8 years, 2 months ago

Gardenmomma, You are actually incorrect about the increasing class sizes. The current ratio limit for grades 4-6 is 31. Quail Run is at that limit. If additional students were transferred to that school, they would have to create another classroom, as the existing limit has already been reached. It is only by increasing the ratio that added students would increase the class size, which is exactly what those parents were speaking out against. 1-2 student increase does not sound large, but did you hear what those parents had to say? The purpose of increasing class size is to have fewer classrooms. Let me give you a for instance....If you look into the grade at Quail Run that they were speaking about, you find the following.... Last year, there were 3 classes of 20-21 students each. Going from 3rd grade to 4th, the ratio increases. That raised the classes to 2 sections of 31 each. That is a 50% increase in class size, not to mention putting 31 children in a classroom that was designed for no more thatn 26.

alm 77, why would you put 'so concerned' in quotes that way. Do you not think that parents experiencing the large class sizes are actually concerned? How snide! Of course they are as concerned as those who are facing school closing. All of the parents are concerned about their children's educations.

and alm and spiderd, how can you suggest that these parents should drive their children across town every day in order for them to attend the smaller schools? Isn't that exactly what you're saying shouldn't happen to the parents who's schools are being looked at closing? The parents of children who's schools could close are not being asked to drive across town, but just a few blocks. Why would you suggest the answer is for a large percentage of the larger schools to tranfer their children and suffer that hardship? And for the record, I've never heard of any option for choosing your own school in Lawrence. Is this a well known option?

I'm also curious, alm, why you dont seem to consider Deerfield, Quail Run, Langston Hughes, and Sunflower neighborhood schools? You asked why dont they move their children to "neighborhood schools?" The fact is that they are all neighborhood schools, its just that the neighborhoods that they are in are experiencing a higher rate of growth than that of the smaller schools. Does that make their schools inferior? Test scores say not.

guess_again 8 years, 2 months ago

Unfortunately, I believe the funding situation is going to get worse before it gets better. People need to stop denying reality. This is not a "short term" or "temporary" situation.

Lawrence has always been blessed by a strong education ethic. As some have noted above, they believe that Lawrence "is different" than the rest of the state. But perhaps not.

When the decision was made in Topeka a decade or so back to sweep up local property taxes to Topeka and redistribute them to school districts in a power equalized manner, things totally changed. We became more of a school district "just like" the rest of the state. I personally think it was a big mistake.

And yes, our local legislators all voted for this significant policy change, because it also included a significant reduction in the property tax mill levy which they could point to at the time. I still think the policy change was a big mistake for Lawrence.

In this relatively new system, school districts that want to invest more through "local option" levies are limited in the amount they raise. As some parents have discovered, Lawrence is one of the cities who has maximized the amount which can be raised in this manner.

Our school board did not create the current fiscal crisis or state funding system.

But a number of our local legislators did create this new funding system. Don't let them off the hook so easily when they state "they always support education funding." They created the very system that prevents Lawrence citizens from imposing additional mill levies on ourselves to keep these schools open.

spiderd 8 years, 2 months ago

dummie- I'm not implying all people should drive across town. I am merely pointing out that there is a very real choice that is available. My point was that while some may choose to move, others may stay at their school - I realize that their neighborhood school is tremendously important to some of them.
To ask them to move by choice if they so desire is not synonomous to sitting across town and forcing that choice on others. You are bouncing my argument back at me in a very unfair way. Yes, the district has a nearly open enrollment policy (the district allows it but individual principals can overrule transfers if they have reason). There are currently over 600 elementary students that do not attend their boundary school.

alm77 8 years, 2 months ago

"how can you suggest that these parents should drive their children across town every day in order for them to attend the smaller schools?" Because I do it. And I do it be I am concerned (concerned enough to actually take action thus my "snide" quotation marks). I'm concerned with class sizes as well as the homogeny on the west side. I want my kids to have friends who are different than they are. The school I drive my children to is diverse economically, racially and in just about every other way imaginable. Quality of schools isn't just about test scores. And I did qualify my suggestion by stating "I'm not saying it's an actually practical solution, at least not for a lot of people." so don't act like I was trying to dictate what other parents should do.

As for transfers, it's very easy to get into a smaller school. You fill out the paperwork, make your case and if the school isn't at capacity, you get your kid there in time, and there are no behavioral issues, it's pretty much a shoo-in.

Hop2It 8 years, 2 months ago

"make_a_difference (anonymous) says... Thank you Bob Byers for making the point of "will not undereducate our children across the district in order to save a school" . This has been on my mind for a while now."

I am going to stick with what the smart people say. Could not have said it better.

rivercitymom 8 years, 2 months ago

My children experienced very large class sizes in elementary school. I think it was very detrimental for one of my children (she always behaved well, so no one noticed she was struggling, sometimes). For another child, the large classes did not seem to have an impact.

One thing that is not being discussed much (yet?) is how this all going to play out for the secondary schools. I personally think there will be some pretty horrific consequences if we start cutting fine arts, vo-tech, AP classes, (anything not "core"). I myself was encouraged and eventually pursued a career which I now love by a non "core" teacher (and I went to a huge high school). Most of the kids now in secodary school had the budget balanced on their backs in 2002/03, when the board closed Riverside, Grant, etc. I think it is very unfair to experiment on these same kids with a "core only" curriculum.

And agree with him most of the time or not at all, Scott Morgan had it right last night when he said these kids only have ONE CHANCE to excel and do well on tests that could decide their fate in life (in this horrible economy, fewer people are going to be able to simply "buy" a post-secondary education; kids are going to have to have grades and test scores to get scholarships.)

Kelly Johnson 8 years, 2 months ago

Is there information available somewhere on how they would reconfigure the boundary lines if Sunset Hill & Wakarusa are closed? I currently live in the SH district and it appears that it's about the same distance from where I am to Deerfield, QR, and Hillcrest.

not_that_crazy 8 years, 2 months ago

All this talk of transferring schools... My understanding is that most children have transfer requests because of divorce and parents moving. Some families just use it as an excuse to "pick" the best school, and I have heard numerous stories of how hard it is to get (valid) transfer requests approved at the schools that are near capacity.

monkeyspunk 8 years, 2 months ago

Not that the school board looks at these forums, but I can't believe no one has brought up the lack of logic that would have to be behind closing Sunset Hill vs Hillcrest. Hillcrest has a bunch of trailers for class rooms. At least 4. Sunset has 2, and ample room to place more on the southern side of the grounds. Hillcrest would have to move their playground to place any more temporaries.

Also, surely the school board is familiar with the boundary map they have created. If you are not, please look. Tell me if there is a more non-sensical district than the Hillcrest one?

The Hillcrest area west of Kasold should go to Sunflower. Sunset should expand out to the corner of 15th and Kasold. Schwegler district should move north to 15th. Cordley can expand their NW corder, Pinkney can move South to 9th. Sunset could then take up the area around the actual school of Hillcrest.

That would most likely increase the size of Sunset Hill disproportionately to the other schools increase, but Sunset Has the space to add more portables if necessary. Portables from Hillcrest could be moved as could the ESL program.

jumpin_catfish 8 years, 2 months ago

notjustyoureverydayaveragetrol said...I have heard personnally from someone on the schoolboard that they have two picked out for sure and are still up in the air with a third school.

So name names, that board member should not be letting that kind of info out to just few. Tell us all what the plans are going be to close schools.

StirrrThePot 8 years, 2 months ago

Close one of the junior high schools and put the 9th graders in high school. Would we need to close any elementary schools if we did this?

poppygirl 8 years, 2 months ago

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poppygirl 8 years, 2 months ago

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alm77 8 years, 2 months ago

"When someone starts a comment with, “I don’t want to close a school” what they mean is that they are perfectly fine with closing some one else’s school. " That is NOT true. I know that was the sentiment with the last school closing, but I can tell you that parents from all of the neighborhood schools have banned together to form the Save Our Neighborhood Schools group. It is not one sided and there are participants who's schools haven't been mentioned as possible closing. The group is sticking together and sticking up for their neighbors. School closings will crowd out the remaining schools.

youarewhatyoueat 8 years, 2 months ago

look on the bright side, folks, we don't have to cut 1/4-1/3 of our schools like KCMO might have to. ouch.

kansasmom 8 years, 2 months ago

I think we deserve to see a comparable spreadsheet budget on each school to see how they compare to each other. Such as line 1: Admin. salary, line 2, techers salary, line 3. food, etc so we can compare across the worksheet and see if something is out of whack. Also, I'd like to compare schools like this of realively the same size so we can see the items that are way out of line. If something is higher or lower, they can explain why.

KSManimal 8 years, 2 months ago

A couple things to keep in mind:

1) "Increase the staffing ratio" is code for laying off teachers. An increase of "1" doesn't mean one more kid in every class. It means you take the ratio of students to teachers, districtwide, and increase it by 1. Every 1% increase in the ratio equates to about 20 teachers losing their jobs. Your legislature apparently believes this is good for the economy (or at least better than, say, asking everyone to pay their fair share of taxes).

2) This problem will likely get much worse before it gets better. The only reason education funding was cut ONLY to 2006 levels was to keep ARRA dollars. A year from now, there will be no ARRA dollars. If you think our legislature will suddenly morph out of their "no tax" that we can even maintain 2006-level're not paying attention. Once there is no ARRA money to lose, what's to stop them from cutting even further? The way revenues are rolling in, they'll either need to raise revenues OR cut education funding back to about 1993 level in order to balance the budget.

3) Most importantly - stop wasting time complaining to our local BOE, and start calling your legislators. Call the governor. Campaign for the gubernatorial candidate who will support public schools, rather than the one who would LOVE to see public education destroyed and would gladly use the economy as an excuse to do it. I'll bet I don't need to say which is which.

kansasmom 8 years, 2 months ago

KSManimal - I really don't think that anyone would LOVE to see public education destroyed. That is such a cop out on your part. I think a lot of areas are cutting back and starting to live within their's too bad it got out of hand. All areas are hurting not just public education. It's called being responsible and not trying to waste tax payers money. There is a lot of areas that require the State's funding....public education being one of them. I know other organizations are scrambling to find ways to fund their budget also. It's not a simple as raise our taxes to fund education - that will be divided up among all areas (or should be) and education will still only get their share. I guess you feel it needs to be a LIONS share and forget about the rest of those funded by the state.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 2 months ago

I am not against being bold and closing down the admin building instead of closing educational buildings. We need schools for education. USD 497 can live without their Taj Majal to transact business.

The admin building is the building to close.... absolutely! Let's get frugal.

Close down the admin building, reduce the numbers at Administrative Services Expenditures and move the admin into an existing USD 497 structure such as the current virtual school location

Administrative Services Expenditures

Closing down the admin building would be the fiscally responsible decision to adfminister. Yes relocate to the vitrual school building.

Sell the admin building,apply those funds to the cost of the new sports facilities and the admin building goes back on the property tax list all of which is a plus for WE USD 497 taxpayers,our students and our teachers.

rivercitymom 8 years, 2 months ago

Sure Merrill, it would be SO EASY to sell that building right now (not). Seriously, have you looked around at how much commercial real estate is sitting empty around town?

Also, at the forum last night, a couple of board members reminded everyone that other district services are housed in that building. It is the district warehouse and also is the home base for the media services people (I think that is right).

1029 8 years, 2 months ago

Ugh! Schooling is so overated. Someday decades from now we will look back on the time when we forced children in this country to go to school and we will shake our heads and say what were we thinking?

Richard Heckler 8 years, 2 months ago

It's better to get moving and get that building on the market. There is plenty of room in the virtual school building. USD 497 owns other property as well. That property was industrial or light industrial considering it was a milk company.

USD 497 can do without the palace.

There is plenty of parking available at the new parking lot at LHS which remains mostly empty 24/7.

That building would make excellent office space for some private venture.

Centerfield 8 years, 2 months ago

Agree on admin building.

Surely it is easier to close that building, relocate what 100 administrators and other staff, and sell the building... than it is to close, sell and move 700 or more students... (not to mention that hundreds of other individual disruptions that ripple throughout other schools and families)

Jessica Beeson 8 years, 2 months ago

Certain board member's arguments for keeping the administrative building open (such as: it has offices, library resources and a warehouse) sounded pretty silly after countless arguments made by parents--and these SAME board members--that "buildings" don't matter when they were discussing closing schools!

dragonfly0221 8 years, 2 months ago

Admin needs to take one for the team and be relocated, show us you care about our kids. It will mean more to the parents if you take a hit too. Take the first hit and soften the blow.

Carol Braden 8 years, 2 months ago

I just spent the day at the capitol speaking to legislators about funding for education. They all said (Republican & Democrat) that Kansas has a huge budget deficit. No one wants their program program cut, their schools closed, or their job eliminated. The problem is that Kansas simply isn't bringing in enough revenue to support the current level of spending.

The only way to prevent further cuts is to raise revenue.

Legislators said they are not hearing from constituents in favor of tax increases. To prevent school closings and preserve quality education in Kansas, please call you legislator! Tell them, you would support tax increases!

fly_on_wall 8 years, 2 months ago

85% of education cost is people in our district. No way around it long term short term the only way to make the budget is to fire people who and how is the questions being answered. If like what so many of you think this is not temporary crisis what would go in the next round of cuts if you get your way now. How great is it that some kids in the higher level get a great education but our kids in the elementary school will have cuts and cut backs and not anything like what they have now in high school. Fair is a place you go not something you get.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 2 months ago

I don't believe any schools have been in or are in danger of closing except eastside schools. It suddenly became about making an appearance of equality. I could be wrong.

Now some BOE members want to build larger elementary schools which they claim are more efficient. That cannot be considering the huge layout of tax dollars to provide enough buildings to house all school children. That is reckless spending and would require additional bus transportation etc etc.

Face it our existing buildings are worth millions upon millions upon millions. It's all about making more use of existing resources and maintaining them. That's a fiscal conservative point of view.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 2 months ago

My constituents have heard this: New Funding Sources

The state government should authorize USD 497 some funding sources of their own such as local user fee to assist with medical insurance and school fees etc etc.

Our paid for school buildings are worth millions upon millions upon millions in tax Dollar savings. Building larger schools will not save tax dollars

It is more apparent than ever that school districts are needing additional sources of funding. Teachers deserve salary increases and decent health insurance. Our legislature is not a reliable source although by law it is a state responsibility.

Neighborhood schools are good for Lawrence absolutely. No Lawrence neighborhood wants to be without an elementary school within the neighborhood. Lawrence has spoken out on this issue numerous times.

Local property owners cannot afford a 10% loss in property value due to the closing of a school. USD 497 certainly cannot afford to participate to lose that revenue so why do it?

There are families that which cannot afford two cars or bus transportation. Therefore walking and/or bicycling become the modes of choice.

How do we solve this problem for the long term?

Two revenue sources could be made available:

  • online state wide sales tax dedicated to public schools ONLY for academics is a reasonable source.

  • a local source to help fund USD 497 medical insurance, salaries, and perhaps school fees. This could become available as a dedicated City of Lawrence USD 497 user fee:

Of course these mechanisms will only be supplemental.

All USD 497 schools benefit. Perhaps experienced USD 497 teachers will stop fleeing to Blue Valley as well.

fly_on_wall 8 years, 2 months ago

I would like to address what Bob Beyers said and Hop2it agreed with

"will not undereducated our children across the district in order to save a school"

Is this implying that its ok to undereducated children at certain schools in order to educate children across the district. When do we get to start making the arguments as to who gets educated. Educating the poor is harder and more expensive maybe we should stop doing that its "Our Taxes" right. Or Maybe its time to make the argument against special education its very expensive and what does the "Tax" payers get out of it. I do not believe in any of the things I just said. I am simply pointing out how quickly the picking and choosing of who gets an education can come from very good people with good intentions. Discrimination against the poor is a very real thing and people are very concerned that this issue of school closings is just that .

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