To the editor:
The school consolidation working group is now in full crisis mode, toiling under its divisive charge to decide who among them will be sacrificed in this the latest round of school closures. It is a painful exercise to behold. And it was clear from the outset that any consensus born of such a cynical process would never accurately reflect the will of the people. We are a community animated by optimism and self-sacrifice, not division. It is time to change courses.
Members of the working group, unite as one voice in opposition to your charge and recommend a new process designed to harness the creative energy of unity. Announce that you are rejecting the district’s false choices and begin to explore all available options. Send a clear message to the school board that this community will no longer entertain school consolidation proposals unless and until the district has presented a convincing case for action grounded in reliable data, rigorous research and professional feasibility analysis. Use your remaining time together to develop standards and procedural safeguards that shift the burden away from the public and onto the district, where it belongs.
We have the opportunity to rise above the din of manufactured crisis and start building the framework for a dynamic new school planning model, one that not only advances our educational goals but also helps shape smart, sustainable growth in Lawrence for years to come. If the working group would take the lead, the school board would surely follow.