Thursday, January 27, 2012
After weeks of pleading their cases, of why Bryant, Emerson, Lincoln and Mueller Elementary schools should remain open, the latest USD 259 attendance boundary supposals still has those schools closing.
"You have to look at the fiscal reality. What we have to face in opening new schools, and as we look forward to the future," said Jon Allison, superintendent.
Parents of those four schools do not agree. They say their current schools are more important than opening brand new schools, and feel like weeks of community meetings and gathering public input was a waste of time.
"Our whole community had come out and let them know exactly what we wanted, exactly what we didn't want, what our concerns were, what our solutions were, and I feel like we were not listened to. I feel like we were lied to with the bond. I feel like it was a bunch of smokin' mirrors with the meetings for the community to come out and talk," said Dolores Pruett, Bryant Elementary parent.
When it comes to high school changes, beyond a few lines moving in several areas of the city, consultants still have Northeast Magnet students making the trek to the new Northeast high school in Bel Aire.
For those high school students in the city center, instead of being given boundaries that send them to three schools, the current assignments will remain for now, sending students to seven different high schools.
Superintendent Allison says according to his focus group, the current supposals may not need much tweaking.
"They feel like we've made progress, and have a good foundation for the board to start from," said Allison.
Parents say Superintendent Allison and the school board need to think about what they promised Wichita nearly four years ago, and make their decisions based on the bond issue.
"He lied to the whole city of Wichita that paid for that bond, and I don't think it's acceptable," said Pruett.
Superintendent Allison will present the first draft of his boundary proposal during a committee meeting on February 6 at North High School.
The Board Of Education will receive the final recommendation on February 13, and vote on the final boundary changes on February 27.