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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

January 4, 2009 at 8:05 AM

Montlake school closure

Not this one

A quiet tragedy is unfolding in Seattle’s Montlake neighborhood.

In the bustle of the holidays, many may have missed the Seattle Public Schools superintendent’s hasty and ill-advised proposal to permanently close Montlake Elementary School.

We should all care because Montlake represents the best in our public schools — high test scores across the socioeconomic spectrum, engaged parents and strong community support.

It is a popular school with a perpetual waiting list. Montlake should be the model for schools everywhere.

Our public schools face a large and real budget crisis. The superintendent and School Board should be commended for taking strong action, but shuttering an important and successful school is not the right solution.

If the School Board endorses the superintendent’s recommendation, our city will have lost something valuable and irreplaceable — and we will all be much the poorer.

— Lyle Bicknell, Seattle

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