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They’ve got a plan

Submitted by on 1, March 25, 2009 – 6:51 amOne Comment

11One other school board item I’d like to fill you in on is the district’s master plan process. “What’s that?” you say, as the words “master plan” float in one ear and out the other. Well, it’s something that could have major implications for how our kids are educated – and how much we can expect to pay for that education.

The district is planning on looking at three different scenarios. One is just trying to school the kids with the money the state gives us; the second is taking the whole district charter (with schools potentially run by some of the big-name charter school outfits). A third option, and the option that seems likely to get the most air time, is to figure out how much it actually costs to educate our kids and to talk to the community about whether we’re willing to pay the costs the state doesn’t (see: permanent parcel tax).

The first scenario – well, it definitely sounds like the least fun one of the bunch. “Questions to consider” on this one per the district will include whether to close schools or increase class sizes, cut back to one high school and cut a raft of extracurricular activities.

The second scenario would look at whether to bring in a charter management organization like Aspire, Greendot or Kipp to run some schools and whether the move could net any additional cash from the state.

Under the third scenario, questions include greater programmatic choice and more art, music and other activities, plus the role of technology in the plan and the use of stimulu money. (In choices one and three, the problems of overcrowding in the East End and underenrollment in the West would also be considered.)

What do you think?

They’re going to hold a host of public meetings on this one over the course of the next eight months, and Superintendent Kirsten Vital said she hopes to have a plan in place this December. Keep checking out handy new schools page for updates.

Meanwhile, Board President Mike McMahon’s site has got the presentation with all the information on the plan process (item 6 on the agenda if it’s still in that spot).

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