Letter to the editor: Buckets of money

To the editor:

On Feb. 25, the Journal-World’s front-page headline announced that the Lawrence school superintendent named four Lawrence schools to possibly close.

This was the district’s recommendation after five months of public and school committee meetings where some participants disagreed with the district about specifically what to do. The budget submitted called for “cuts that would total between $7.56 million and $9.52 million” and include closing or repurposing some schools.

During the same period the school committees tried to find money for the school district’s budget problem, the City of Lawrence discussed spending nearly $125 million in public funds for a new maintenance works complex in eastern Lawrence. The Journal-World also reported that the local sheriff proposes a jail project that could cost over $45 million, “an idea unpopular and rejected by county voters in recent years,” according to the paper.

The list of “other money” spent by the city goes on and on, so one might think the education of our school children and teachers should be ranked much higher in priorities in Lawrence and that our city leaders should come to the rescue with a bit of money to keep all schools open a bit longer for advance planning by all parties, but it does not work that way to have money move between different local government entities. However, there appears a need for the school committees to continue working together to find solutions to this year’s school problems without causing such abrupt changes and shocks to the lives of the children and families involved.

Gene Kean,



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