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I'm the parent of a first-grader whose school, Takena Elementary in Albany, is proposed for closure. I understand that the school district is in a critical financial situation, but I'm not sure that closing schools is the best way to alleviate the situation. Our district has mentioned possibly going to a 4-day school week in 2012-13 to deal with the expected additional shortfall; why not do that next year to give the community a chance to raise support for a possible local-option levy to support our schools at our current levels? Cuts to extra-curriculur activities and athletics are other proposals for 2012-13--why not do that this year, while saving the excellent educational programs that are in place at the elementary schools slated for closure?
What's more, Albany is not a district facing declining enrollment. Enrollment this year did not grow as fast as it has in past, but it is still expecting more growth in the future, and in fact refers to its plans as a "temporary" closure, because they expect to need to re-open the closed schools in two years. I think it is very difficult on kids and families to shut down the school community they've become a part of, send them to a different school long enough to get attached there, and then ship them back to the other school. Closing Takena is estimated to save $180,000--a drop in the bucket of the $7 million shortfall.
posted 2 years, 4 months ago
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