Commissioner White asked Jerome Underwood the cost of restructuring K-6 schools into K-8 schools, his answer was approximately $250K per building. To convert K-6 buildings into K-8 buildings requires major renovations. Science labs must be added, band rooms, lockers, SmartBoards, parking space, sports fields, etc. To expect this community to believe that any contractor would be able to complete this extensive amount of renovation for $250K is insulting. The truth is it will cost tens of millions of dollars. Parents, students, and administrators don’t want their K-6 schools to become K-8 schools. It’s being forced on them under the guise of “real reform.” That money can be spent upgrading the technology of every school in this district and providing safe, educationally inviting space for our Pre-K students.
The community was never told that the majority of school administrators did not want to adopt ESF, but were forced into it. Parents and community members don’t want it because it doesn’t work. Truth be told, even the President of the School Board told me he doesn’t believe it will work. Why is it being considered? This budget increases class size, cuts librarians, Art, Music, and Phys Ed teachers while doling out millions to Central Office personnel and offices that have no contact with or direct impact on student achievement.
City Councilman Adam McFadden spoke to the School Board at Thursday’s business meeting, concerned about the number of teens congregating at Liberty Pole Way. By his estimation, hundreds of teens are gathering downtown, carrying weapons, harassing the elderly, and just wandering. Community member Wallace Smith confirmed Councilman McFadden’s observations and added that he contacted the State Board of Education and was told that these student’s were the responsibility of the district until they reached home. Elementary students should be able to walk to their neighborhood school and teens should be bused to their homes. That is sensible school reform.
Every aspect of “reform” proposed in Superintendent Brizard’s plan equates to the failure of our students and our district. We cannot allow the Board to continue pushing through Brizard’s plan as “reform.”
The man is gone, now it’s time to Stop the Plan!