letter to the editor 3-25-2002

Boundary changes
not best for families

Recent actions by the Duluth School Board to change middle school and high school boundaries are actions taken to correct earlier mistakes.

At a recent meeting, the superintendent explained that the boundary changes were necessary because a great disparity existed in school population. Woodland has more than 700 students, and Ordean has less than 600 students. The School Board moving more than 200 students from Central to Woodland created the disparity and now they seek to disrupt entire neighborhoods to solve the problem.

The middle school students were placed at Central to help sustain the population there, which had been threatened with closure in the early '90s. Now that the middle school students are gone, the superintendent claims that existence of Central is again threatened.

To ease this threat, he has proposed the most significant boundary shift in decades.

As my family has students affected by this proposal, I am concerned that families and neighborhoods have not even been considered. Busing students across town in order to solve a problem created by the board is a short-term solution for a larger problem.

It pains me to admit it, but board member Harry Welty is right with his discussion of a two high school program, and his proposal deserves consideration before any boundary changes are made. Changing boundaries now and switching later to accommodate a two high school system is not good.

As a family, we considered a variety of locations when we relocated to Woodland. A huge factor was the schools. The Woodland area has accepted the closing of two elementary schools and numerous boundary changes, but this latest proposal may be the straw that breaks the camel's back.

The time has come to send a message to the board that this proposal is not what we support or need at this time.