Wednesday, June 15, 2005

close schools to build new schools?

the Oregonian --Wednesday, June 15, 2005
PAIGE PARKER

Months after voting to close five schools, Portland's school board has opened the door to building two new ones.

I am curious if they knew at this time that they were going to open new schools and forgot to tell us

Board members have told Superintendent Vicki Phillips to plan for a new school on a 31/2-acre portion of the former Whitaker Middle School site on Northeast 39th Avenue. The school closed in 2001 because of mold problems, and students were relocated. Next year, most Whitaker students will attend Tubman Middle School. Officials haven't decided what type of school to build but say the new building would replace one or more existing schools.

The school board also has approved the concept of building a school at New Columbia, an 852-unit, mixed-income development under construction in North Portland. The 500-student school will be built if financing from several public and private sources is secured by September. The school would open in September 2006 and would replace Ball Elementary, a 228-student school built in 1948.

Some parents call the plans irrational given the district's overall declining enrollment and recent school closures. And Lolenzo Poe, a school board member whose term expires at the end of this month, voted against the New Columbia project because he said Whitaker deserved to be replaced first.

"A lot of people are under the mistaken impression that somehow the board closed schools to save money to turn around and pump money into new schools," said Doug Morgan, a school board member. "None of the money from closing schools is going into the new schools."

"under the mistaken impression that somehow schools were closed to save money"... I do not understand how they would think that we would get that impression.
All that you hear any more is that schools have to cut back expenses, layoff teachers and put more students into classes in addition, they say that they cannot afford to maintain the buildings.

Gee, Mr. Morgan, I guess that the public just assumed

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