To the editor:
This is an open letter to the parents from Quail Run that spoke at the school district’s forum Tuesday night. I thought I would introduce myself. According to the district, if Hillcrest closes, my daughter will be transferred to Quail Run. According to the district’s Web site, closing Hillcrest will increase the enrollment of Quail Run to 527. I also hope you had the opportunity to meet parents from Sunset Hill. If their school closes, the district says that the enrollment at Quail Run will increase to 580. Either way, I guess things will get kind of cozy.
There seems to be a misperception that this is a choice between closing schools and increased class sizes. This is untrue for two reasons. First, children of closed schools don’t disappear. Closed schools will increase class sizes at Quail Run, Sunflower and Langston Hughes. Second, to get to $5 million, the district will need to close schools AND increase class sizes.
Closing neighborhood elementary schools is fundamentally unfair, not in terms of east/west side resources, but because it places a disproportionate burden on elementary schools as a way to preserve class sizes, extracurricular activities, and electives (like jewelry making) at the junior high and high school levels. Student-teacher ratio increases are less unfair because they spread the burden upward to the higher grades. Forget closing schools, it is time to ask the high schools and junior highs to share the burden.