Friday, December 26, 2008

Public Hearing Updates

From the News and Calendar section of the district's website:

Lowell hearing rescheduled to January 20, 6:30 to 8:3p.m.

School Board Policy H01.00 sets forth that public hearings be held for all buildings proposed for closure in the Superintendent's Preliminary Recommendations. Individuals who were on the public testimony list for the original hearing of Dec. 18 (rescheduled due to inclement weather) have first priority to testify. Individuals on the original list will be contacted by phone and/or email. Others may sign up to testify on a space-available basis. Email hearing@seattleschools.org or call 206 252 0042. Sign-ups will be accepted until NOON on the day of the hearing.

After that time, sign-ups will be accommodated on a first-come, first-served basis at the building site if space is still available.

If any additional buildings are proposed for closure in the Superintendent's final recommendation - due to be announced on January 6, 2009 - a public hearing will be scheduled for those buildings. The date and time for any additional hearings will be announced after the final recommendation is released.

January 20th? After the final recommendations on the 7th? Two days before the final public hearing? If I didn't know better, I'd think the district wanted to push through what IT wants for Lowell and the later the discussion the better. What is the Lowell community supposed to do until the 20th? Twiddle their thumbs?

Boy, we don't even need to wait until this round of closures is over to do a post-mortem. Much of what has occurred is fairly indefensible. I thought the Board wanted to get it right...not fast.

5 comments:

Seattlehorn said...

Cunning scheduling. January 20th just HAPPENS to be an historic date, when a whole lotta Lowell parents will be celebrating an historic presidential inauguration. Ya think anyone will mind if we bring champagne to the closure hearing?!

classof75 said...

& a lot of us are actually going to be on the other coast- and given the weather- may take a few days to get back and forth.

SPSMom said...

I am confused, on the 12/9 recommendations, the Lowell building was listed as being "repurposed." So why are they holding a public hearing for a building that is not on the closure list?

Robert said...

Hum SPSMOM. My daughter's school is going to be closed. It is closer than any other public schools but her and her sisters will have to go 5 miles away. I think we need to have a hearing to understand why Lowell needs to be closed to her and open to students that live north of her! Divide and conquer just seems so unfair otherwise?

SPSMom said...

Robert, I think every parent voice should be heard, equally. However, it is a state mandate that the district hold public hearings for buildings being closed. You should have had a public hearing for your school if the building is being closed (not repurposed). For programs like AAA, they will not get a hearing as their program is just being dissolved and the building is to be used for another program.

I suspect if the state did not require these hearings they would not happen.

So my question had nothing to do with the ability to "divide and conquer" or even equity to be heard; it simply is a question asking why a building that is not currently on the closure list is getting a public hearing as it seems to be very out of line with the current policy? The only answer I can think of is that the Lowell building could still be shuttered.