PEORIA, IL -- The Peoria District 150 School Board suffered through a very long meeting on March 20, showing that a once-a-month meeting is not a great idea.
The public comments did not begin until 9 pm, and some who signed up had already fled so did not comment.
But those who stayed told the board members of the problems associated with changing the bus schedule, thus the opening and closing times for the various schools.The new three-tiered schedule would save more than $1 million yearly, but likely disrupt many family schedules.
The PJS story on the meeting details some of the comments. But ignored was activist Terry Knapp.
He said the board made a huge mistake when it closed some neighborhood schools, including Woodruff High School, to construct Lincoln and Glen Oak. The decision caused busing to increase and costs to go up.
"Figure a way to decrease busing," he said.He wants Woodruff reopened as a comprehensive high school. It's now a career and technical center for the district.
Here is a recording of the comments:
The comments of activist Sharon Crews are below.
As for the 9 pm starting time for comments, which spurs many citizens to leave, there's also a remedy for that.
The board could move the comments to the beginning of the meeting, before the awards and the presentations take place.
It could and should schedule an awards assembly for the many awards that are passed out, take way too much time and require some to stand as the seats are filled. It could even present school propaganda to the audience.
It could also limit presentations to 10 - 20 minutes, or schedule a meeting only for presentations. At the March 20 meeting it heard several lengthy presentations that could have been cut or rescheduled to another time.
No board meeting should be organized the way this meeting occurs.
The board and the meeting's friendly ambience have both greatly improved under the current superintendent. Now the meetings should be reorganized.
-- Elaine Hopkins
Here are the comments of Sharon Crews:
I am sure that I am not the only one who is pleased to see the end of the unwelcome tradition of staff reduction at the end of the year. I believe this action is a great start to ending future teacher shortages.
I am glad that you are seeking ways to collect unpaid student fees. The district can’t afford to lose this money any longer. Also, students need to learn that it is their responsibility to take care of their textbooks and not to lose them.
My guess is that eliminating the IB program at the primary and middle school levels will not have a negative effect on learning and, of course, money will be saved.
I am glad to hear that you might put an end to holding the staff’s back-to-school event at Bradley’s Renaissance Coliseum. In fact, I would be willing to bet that almost everyone would rather spend that day getting ready for the first day of classes and mingling with their own faculties at their own schools. The event itself has never been a crowd pleaser.
I do believe that the only real solution to the transportation problem is neighborhood K-8 schools and reopening Woodruff.
All in all, I believe that your cost-cutting measures are actually good for students, teachers, and schools.
I am pleased to see that, at least, a couple of high school courses will be offered in summer school. Of course, I won’t be happy until I see the return of a full-scale high school summer school and no mention of “credit recovery.” -30-