Back of the Class

Community Opposes Shrinking Schools


I am so grateful for Board Members Adkins, Wynde and Gonzalez. The documentation that PPS handed out to community members all fall and winter states clearly that PPS can support the core program at 1100 to 1400 enrollment. This would mean that no schools should have to close.

David Wynde has already asked PPS staff to provide the board with the kindergarten and first grade populations for the current high school cohort, as well as a projection using that capture rate for current kindergarten and first grade cohorts.

Martin Gonzalez knows that it is an abomination that PPS has allowed year after year of students to go without this core program when it costs $4.5 million by their own admission. And he's right, they would find the money tucked away somewhere. Talk about a rainy day.

It would be terrible to close neighborhood schools because of the expense and the disruptive effects on students, families and neighborhoods. In Seattle they are having to reopen high schools, which has been very expensive.

Interesting Trudy Sargent says we don't have the money. Two meetings ago, one of the other board members, in an offhand comment, referred to approving a contract for $2 million as a rounding error in a budget the size of PPS. If the board is squabbling over $4.5 million give or take to keep neighborhood high schools open, can't we call this a slightly larger rounding error and FIGURE OUT HOT TO KEEP THE SCHOOLS OPEN?
The money must be found to create sound programs at all of the high schools. The grade school and preschool populations show increases so this is a temporary situation. If the neighborhood schools aren't sound, we'll all pay for it in drastically reduced property values. We are still paying for the K-8 debacle, which needs repairing before the district goes on to ruin schools and communities. Where's the transparency? Carole Smith was quoted as saying they weren't revealing the plans for individual schools yet because they wanted "public buy-in" first. Shouldn't the community be told what they are buying into before they're asked to buy? This is a district with a long history of poor administration and this has got to be one of the worst plans they've ever come up with.
This is typical slick-oil salesmanship. Convince the customer they have a need and you are the person to fulfill that need. Get them to agree with you on all points leading into the "discussion," so it is impossible for them to back out. THEN, and only then, do you actually give them any details of your "solution."

It goes like this:
Q:Do you think homelessness is a problem in our society?
A: Of course!
Q:Do you think government should step in and help find solutions to homelessness?

A: Yes, I do. I hate to see human suffering!
Q:Would you be willing to spend a little extra money each month to be sure every citizen in your community has a warm bed and a roof over their head?
A: Sure, if we all pitch in, we can solve this important issue!
Q: Great! We knew you would agree with us. Our community has the best, and brightest citizens! We knew we could count on you! Here's the plan we have carefully devised over the last 18 months: Go home, clean out one of your bedrooms, and we'll send a homeless person over pronto. Please have an extra house key made to give to your new guest. Fresh sheets and towels will also be appreciated.
A: But, but.....
Q: You are the best! You have partnered with us to solve homelessness! Now, if you have any questions, we'll be over there in that sound-proof room devising a plan to solve hunger in your community! Please have a key to your pantry ready.....

Concerned Citizen,

"Go home, clean out one of your bedrooms, and we'll send a homeless person over pronto."

Good Lord, that is so offensive. How about this?

...."Go ahead and clean out one of your classrooms and we will send some economically disadvantaged students over." Isnt that what you really mean?

This is a great example on how this situation is so potentially polarizing, well not so "potentially" anymore though.
I'm sorry, my post was actually meant for "gwenabob'.