OUR OPINION: When Schools Close … People Must Speak

Filed under: Opinion,Subject Categories |

Public School Superintendents in major cities have one thing in common … they all share the hottest seat in town. Faced with federal and state budget cuts, they need to save dollars; and where else to go, than to look within their budgets?

Many are taking the heat because the only route to reducing budgets is to clear out the least-occupied and/or the least-productive schools.

We have given our readers in this issue (see our post “SW Community Vows To Plan Its Own School Closures”) a look at community reaction to the plan suggested by Superintendent William Hite, Jr. Alternative plans offered by community groups need to be examined as well by Hite and company.

There are many families who will be affected by the present list of school closings (which is not to say community-suggested closings will not impact on these families with the same force).

We urge all communities to attend school-closing conferences in their neighborhoods. They know their schools best. Some will welcome the closing of one or two schools in their district.

We urge Superintendent Hite not to make a final decision without first studying alternative plans, such as that offered by a coalition from Southwest Philadelphia.

We recommend parents look to try and save the better of their schools slated for closing, but not all. Something has to give.

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