Thursday, March 11, 2010

Kansas City Missouri School Board Agrees to Superintendent's Plan

The Kansas City Missouri School Board sucked it up and agreed to the plan developed by Superintendent John Covington to close about half of the KCMOSD buildings. The history behind how they got here, and the possible trips and snares going forward are both deep and complicated. The simple fact is we got too few students going to too many buildings and schools. The district cannot pay for this any more. Some must close.

How did the Kansas City Missouri School District get into this pickle? So many factors: deseg money that gave the district a false sense of financial security, white and middle class black flight to suburban and outlying Kansas City school districts, the natural aging of the population with a consequent reduction in the number of kids. In addition, the school board and school processes became a center of power for some Black leaders, and that power has been abused and used for selfish purposes.

What may happen now? Well, one thing to note is that in April, five school board seats are up for election, and shifts in the office holders could cause the school board to be less cooperative with Superintendent Covington, at best, and at worst, could end up with his eventual outster. And of course, the actual closing process--dealing with personnel and buildings--will be full of details and push and pull. Patronage will be in full display.

These closures must happen. If they do not happen, the district will be a financial shipwreck, and risks full state take over. In fact, in my opinion, if the closings do not happen, the state must come in and take over. Ditto, if the superintendent is removed by political force.

As said previously in this blog, in several entries regarding the Hickman Mills C-1 district, in which the Observer lives, closing schools suck. And you never want it to be your school that closes. But sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

Yeah, you wanna read the Kansas City Star's coverage--linked right here.

And here's some TV coverage from KSHB--linked here.

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