Sunday, December 07, 2008

No, Really--Let's Close a Bunch of School Districts

Earlier this year I wrote a post about the potential of closing some school districts here in Washington, and this past week I gave a presentation to my Current Issues in Education class about that same topic, but only looking more here at Spokane County.

Since my original post the state has fallen into a budget hole chasm canyon that has the potential to cut services for kids K through 16, and I think that if eliminating gifted programs and raising class size are on the table, then cutting the administrative side of the equation should also be. It's common sense, it's just, so let's do it.

And just look at the map of school districts in Spokane County to get an understanding of why I think this is a discussion that needs to happen. There's West Valley tucked to the west of East Valley and Central Valley, and my essential argument is that if you combined all three of them you'd end up with a district that was a) geographically nearly identical to Mead, just to the north and b) still had less kids than Spokane District 81 immediately to the west. And those are large, urban school districts--you could save millions of dollars without touching the small rural locals (Great Northern, Orchard Prarie) which becomes a far more emotional issue.

Or, in King County, consider Shoreline, with Seattle to the south, Edmonds to the North, and Northshore to the east. The dividing lines between these districts are basically which side of the heavily travelled highway you live on; why not take out the arbitrary lines and make one administrative unit, as it should be?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Onion Creek is another one that could be consolidated. Its smack right between Northport and Colville and could be absorbed into either district.

Valley is a K-8 district and their only school building is a 10 minute drive from Chewelah's buildings. Its another one I can see consolidated.

Evergreen and Summit Valley is another one, if only to give the kids at Summit Valley better facilities. Summit's school is a 1909 vintage wooden building and Evergreen's is a modern 1980's building.

10:11 PM  

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