Letters to the editor

July 3, 2008

By Staff

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Shuffling students presents too many questions about the effects on Liberty

The Boundary Review Committee has a problem. It has yet to answer how poaching students from out of the district to fill Liberty classrooms fulfills their mandate to equitably distribute Issaquah School District students.

If the goal is to get 200 out-of-district students to keep equitable programming and funding, as suggested by the three high school principals who recommended it, how will that affect Liberty? How will Liberty even attract that many students? How will having one-fifth of the student body as transfers affect the campus? Test scores? Level of teaching? Existing student body?

What criteria will be used to allow new students in, and will the requirement for a certain number of students mean that Liberty will take whoever wants to come? And what will that do to our property values?

I see no discussion of any of these issues on any of the committee’s minutes. If the principals want to offer this as a solution to Liberty’s declining attendance, then they need to answer these and other questions. Otherwise, this is not a real solution, merely a political one and that is not what the committee was tasked to do.

If this is allowed to continue, the district will once again be in a position where a “process” is actually lip-service to an agenda and we as a community will once again have to conclude that district officials are not actually interested in putting forth real solutions, but only political ones that suit their interests, not ours.

As an aside, I am not convinced that transferring Talus or Lakemont kids is the best solution, but shouldn’t the discussion at least take place? Shouldn’t the concerns and questions of all of these communities, including Liberty, have an open hearing? That’s what was happening before the principals took matters into their own hands.

I respectfully request that the committee be allowed to have these discussions and that the principals and district officials be required to answer these concerns before the committee adopts the preliminary recommendation of keeping the current high school boundaries. Please, Boundary Review Committee, do your job!

Jayne Bell
Newcastle

 

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