Letter: Has ideas for boundary issueTwo years ago a referendum passed by 129 votes to build a new elementary school to support the south side of Hudson. Five months after the school opened the School Board plans to change the boundary lines, dividing families and neighborhoods.
By: Mary Yacoub, Hudson, Hudson Star-Observer
Two years ago a referendum passed by 129 votes to build a new elementary school to support the south side of Hudson. Five months after the school opened the School Board plans to change the boundary lines, dividing families and neighborhoods.
After the referendum passed, $35,000 of our tax dollars was spent to have an independent consultant draw boundary lines. What happened? Either, the School Board didn’t listen or $35,000 was wasted. River Crest was built to handle only 588 students, yet 500 were already being bused across I-94.
What options does the School Board have now?
1. To alleviate overcrowding of elementary schools the city could build a second middle school for grades 5 and 6 and the present middle school could house grades 7 and 8.
2. Expand River Crest (there is already money for this).
3. Move the three early childhood classes at River Crest to Rock Elementary, which has four open classrooms and no early childhood.
The point is, there are viable options that do not involve uprooting children again, and allowing neighborhood kids to attend the same school. It is a knee-jerk reaction to shift boundary lines five months after they were drawn to account for growth that is at best uncertain now, and who knows five-10 years from now.
Furthermore, the (30 percent) open acreage has not been zoned for residential development, and one cannot assume that it will be. Despite this, the School Board has claimed unexpected growth in a school that has yet to finish its first year.
It seems clear that the School Board does not have enough information to make an informed decision, yet they appear poised to do so, while affecting the lives of many families. Ironically, if the School Board decides to re-draw the district lines, while alleviating River Crest, the already 72-percent full Rock will approach capacity. The problem is clear — space is at a premium and it will only get worse. The solution cannot rely on hand-waving district boundary lines based on guessing how many students a given neighborhood will enroll, only to change the boundary lines again when they realize they guessed wrong. The School Board does not seem to care how many times they change the boundary lines.
To quote the School Board, “The problem is not immediate; the problem is in the future.” For the children in the affected neighborhoods, the problem is immediate.