Wausau School District - Vote No to moving Grant/Lincoln students to East & Horace Mann.

Wausau School District - Vote No to moving Grant/Lincoln students to East & Horace Mann.

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Mary Thao started this petition to Parents and

The proposal to move Grant/Lincoln students will widen the gap of under-resourced families between the secondary schools. Below is a chart detailing the number of students that qualify for free and reduced meals based on economic needs. The chart shows the current data of Grant, Lincoln, and all secondary schools as well as the secondary school data of the proposal. Lincoln and Grant have the first and third highest percentage of students that qualify for free/reduced meals of any school in the district at 76.7% and 66.5%, respectively. To calculate the secondary school data for the proposal, half the Grant/Lincoln student numbers (3 of 6 grades) were removed from John Muir and added to Horace Mann. Likewise, two-thirds (4 of 6 grades) were moved from John Muir to Horace Mann. As can be seen, this proposal will result in an percentage increase of low-income families at Horace Mann from 52.3% to 56.6% while decreasing the percentage from 47.3% to 41.0% at John Muir. Similarly, Wausau East High School will increase from 43.7% of students qualifying for free/reduced meals to 50.2% while Wausau West drops from 39.4% to 30.7%. Research has shown a strong relationship between a school’s socio-economic status and student achievement. It should be pointed out that Grant and Lincoln have the largest percentage of minority students of any school in the district at 58% and 63%, respectively. This proposal inequitably increases the segregation of diverse families and those lacking financial resources. As a board, you must consider the plan’s detrimental impact on our community, families, and students’ educational outcomes.Could you please let me know if you plan to move forward with reassigning the Grant/Lincoln students to the east side secondary schools on August 10? If not, I request you reconsider this proposal as it is inequitable to the ethnically diverse and under-resourced families of these schools. Also, as stated in previous emails, it will cause a more than 300% increase in commuting distance for these families and you have yet to ask the community its thoughts about this proposal. I have further points to make that I will address in future letters if you intend to approve this proposal on August 10.

Below is a list of possible options to explore:
• Your original proposal
• Do nothing
o “If it is not broken, do not try to fix it”
o Middle school populations will be back below 2008-levels by 2023
• Move Maine
o A 25% increased commute is the smallest in the district
o Students in Brokaw live closer to Mann/East than to Muir/West
• Intermediate School, Middle School, one High School with two campuses
• Open choice
o The structure of the two high schools are very different and parents/children may have a preference in the structure they prefer

Thank you very much for your consideration,

Mark

Mark Holdhusen, Ph.D.
Professor of Engineering
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point at Wausau
518 South 7th Avenue
Wausau, WI 54401

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