BH School Board:DO NOT VOTE on reconfiguration this year
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The decision to make a huge change in our district needs careful attention, and should be made in a manner that allows for measured consideration of the most realistic options. Whether the choice is to keep the K-8 system (as 4 or 3 schools) and improve upon that model; create a dedicated middle school with either two or three K-5 schools; or take one of the prior options and relocate the district office to utilize the revenues from that property, the analysis of these options must ensure that all aspects are appropriately studied.
This analysis must involve curriculum, staffing, architecture, the logistics of zoning, the impact on traffic/environment, and the likely academic and social outcomes for any reconfiguration. To date, this analysis has not been done in an effective, detailed or meaningful way. There have been few substantive resources offered to the community, and there have been no reports from outside experts in the relevant fields that might give the residents and parents a better understanding of what is needed, what a change is most likely to bring, and what impact it will have on education and this district as a whole.
Accordingly, and after two informative discussions with La Tanya Kirk-Carter, Assistant Superintendent - Business Services, we understand the following:
No decision on reconfiguration needs to be made by the School Board at the end of this month.
- The Board can reasonably hold off for one year. The district can draw a small sum from the Special Reserve Fund and make smaller cuts to the tune of $1.5M to $2M. (The Special Reserve Fund was created expressly for this purpose, to provide a berth for important decision-making.)
- LACOE will NOT take over our school district so long as the district shows it is moving toward a workable plan.
Given these facts, we urge the Board not to vote at the end of the month, and to give the District and community ONE YEAR to gather all of the information. We believe a more deliberative and collaborative process will foster deeper confidence in this action, and will help defuse the current climate of confusion and controversy.
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