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Letters to the Editor

Support board

April 10, 2012

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To the editor:

As a former school board member who has been involved in the very difficult decision to consolidate buildings in my district, I have noted with chagrin the attitude of some of the volunteers in the consolidation study group and the editors of the Journal-World. 

Yes, these are very difficult deliberations with many facets to consider and the tough decisions do belong to the board, not the patrons. However, I am certain that had the input of the patrons not been sought there would be an outcry from Lawrence’s vocal and passionate community. If the school board had simply decided a course of action, without employing the services of a volunteer group of patrons, many would have accused them of high-handedness and not listening to their constituents’ concerns. 

That study group got a small taste of what it is like to be a school board member who must balance the diverse interests of patrons, students, teachers and parents in an environment of ever-shrinking resources. Rather than criticize the board for seeking community input, I would laud them for trying to include the constituent groups in the process. The difficulty the “volunteer” working group had in reaching consensus simply illustrates the difficulty the “volunteer” board members also face. Please let your board members know what you think, but appreciate their service, rather than criticize them for seeking patron input.

Comments

Mike George 2 years ago

I am writing in general support of Ms. Bauer's comments, and I think that most thinking people support the decisions to involve volunteer patrons and judiciously study the issues with the goal of making decisions in the best interest of all the patrons of Lawrence Public Schools. I am a forty-two year taxpayer in the City of Lawrence with two LHS graduates during that time period, so we feel that the Lawrence schools provided our children with excellent educations and our family with excellent value in the increasingly difficult challenge of public education at a reasonable cost. But the problem that I frankly have with the summary activities of both the study group and the Board is that they have not made any decisive moves, choosing to kick the can down the road for another period of time. They are mostly thin-skinned, unwilling to take political and personal heat for the sake of the best education/funding balance, and critically indecisive. And unfortunately, we as voters, and as Board members, continue to stock these groups with more of the same. People with both educational understanding and business skills need to make the correct decisions and then live with them. As one poster said on another thread, "What a massive misuse of resources." The lack of decision in this case may accidentally turn out to be the correct choice, but for goodness sake, make that call and take ownership of it. No abundance of personal and group responsibility has been shown at all.

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seriouscat 2 years ago

Good letter. Like the wise ole adage goes "If one has nothing nice to say, it is better for one to say nothing at all". Only in this case replace "nice" with "valuable to add to the debate".

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nativeson 2 years ago

Well said. It is clear that any decision now made on consolidation will be controversial. Those willing to serve and put themselves in the line of fire should be recognized for their service.

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