POLL: Should Parents Try to Stop Mary Drew Closure in the 11th Hour?
Tuesday's re-vote over closing the elementary school has given some parents and residents cause to try to make a final attempt to save Mary Drew. But is that the right thing to do? Tell us what you think.
Tuesday's re-vote by the Summit Hill School District 161 board to close Mary Drew Elementary School for the 2012-13 school year might be a formality. But it hasn't stopped parents from trying to persuade the board to reverse course.
The board scheduled a special meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the district offices to vote again on the closing after a community member filed a grievance Friday that the board didn't sufficiently notify the public that it would be taking action to close Mary Drew at its Feb. 22 meeting. The closing was included under the "Planning for the Future" agenda item at last week's meeting, where board members voted to shutter the school next school year.
Parents and other district residents, however, are looking at this meeting as a final opportunity to save the school from closing. Over the weekend, parents took to online forums such as Facebook to mobilize people to attend Tuesday's morning and tell board members they want Mary Drew to stay open. A petition started by Kelly Meister asks board members to increase registration and extracurricular fees and charge for busing instead of closing a school.
But is it a good idea to try to save Mary Drew Elementary School? The district faces a $3 million deficit over the next three years, and the board is looking to cut $1.4 million from the budget this year. Board members already voted to keep the district's full-day kindergarten program, and they're quickly running out of places to make substantial cuts.
However, many parents argue that closing Mary Drew--or any school, for that matter--isn't the answer. More research needs to be done and, in the meantime, cuts can be made in other areas.
WHAT DO YOU THINK? Take our poll and share your thoughts in the comments section.