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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

November 4, 2008 at 2:42 PM

Seattle school closures

Try something else

The Seattle School Board’s silence on another recommendation from State Auditor Brian Sonntag to cut administrators at the headquarters is deafening [“Closing Seattle schools: bringing excellence to all,” guest columnist, Nov. 3]. There is not one word about other things they could do to cut costs rather than just closing schools.

What is driving this issue is not just the budget problem. The district has not kept up with basic maintenance on its buildings, which was another recommendation from Sonntag.

This is occurring because the board and the district do not follow the OSPI’s [Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction’s] recommendation to use 4 percent of the general fund for maintenance.

Another thing the board (nor the district) hasn’t actively done is make marketing efforts to get more kids in public schools. We have some great public schools and there’s no reason to lose so many students to private schools. We need the dollars attached to each student that we lose when they go private.

I understand why the board wants to close schools but I would like to see more cost cutting elsewhere as a show of good faith to the public and the communities who will lose their schools.

— Melissa Westbrook, Seattle

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