Parking lots at Central overflowing.
Super promises that maps showing bi-secting Riverside is no longer under consideration
School age population up 12%, Riverside experienced much larger increases in this cohort”
So how much of an increase? Doesn’t say. Claim that Riverside’s enrollment “will decrease significantly”. Again, no expiation for this conclusion except that “the experts who figured this out are really, really good”. That’s reassuring.
My three points: the legal basis for Blumenthal’s opinion that supports the state law requiring busing is suspect.
Second, no data supports the theory that busting up neighborhood schools improves academic performance,
Third, breaking up Riverside school will cut real estate values in half
Question: what happens if we tell state to piss off? Ans: loss of $8 million in funds. This is probably not true- state owes the money to individual “special needs” kids- sue.
Teachers will lose state certification. Laughable.
Moriarty answering question about challenging state law:”what lesson would it teach our kids if we defied the state?”
Some rude audience member (ahem) yelled that it would teach the children history: this country was founded on rebellion. The audience member was suitably chastised by the superintendent
Two residents demand that any decision on this be deferred until at least the upcoming election when 3 board members will be replaced..
Q: BOE says all this planning for redistricting is caused by two problems, race imbalance and over crowding, but the pressure for speed comes from deadline to address race. Facility usage is a bogus excuse.
How is there growth in western side of town when no new housing?
Q- there will always be racial economic disparity – how do you propose to address that next year , the year after that, and in perpetuity?
Q- Riverside school, according to you, will have excess capacity going forward, and is racially balanced. If there’s plenty of room and no racial problem to address, why are you even considering breaking it up?
Answer from Super; Ah, good question.
Former BOE whatshername is reading some lengthy question re: student population, public vs. private school. I didn’t follow it.
Cos Cob resident, NY lawyer asks if Board has made a decision to challenge the law. They have not. Urges board to make a decision to aid the parents in challenging this unconstitutional law by allowing us to have standing to sue them.
Super says, legal counsel has advised districts not to challenge the law.
Questioner reads the holding of the Parent’s case: may a school district reassign children solely because of racial demographic changes? NO!
Disappointed that of the 15-20 speakers, all but 2 are from Riverside. Every taxpayer in town has a stake in the BOE’s plans- Riverside is not the only potential target here- in fact, we probably are less likely to be screwed by the BOE now than other less vocal neighborhoods. June 6th is the next meeting – oops! Riverside resident just asked where the residents from areas are and a large number of audience members said, “we’re here”! Good.
Q- why is board making this decision being rushed through in 4 months?
Leslie Moriarty says “I’ll take that as a rhetorical question”. Audience disagrees. (Super does attempt an answer)
Cos Cob resident asks about 20 NYC license plates at New Lebanon School (total enrollment 200). Residents must prove residency every year to obtain a beach card, students are asked for proof of residency only twice, kindergarten and 9th grade. Why?
Second question: with limited funds how much will busing cost?
Super-22 license plates all traced back to Greenwich residents.
Also doesn’t rule out busing, by the way.
Central Middle has lousy wireless, delaying regular updates.
Parkway parent wants more input from parents- what about non-parents?
Maria pons Cohen back for a second bite of the apple, this time without notes. Much better. Concurs with previous speaker: board must decide, one way or the other, whether to challenge the state law. If they challenge, fine; if they decide not to challenge, that decision will give parents legal standing to sue on their own.
Q: what are you planning for middle schools? Answer, “we will look at that issue but haven’t yet”. Why don’t I believe him?
Q: 4 options all involve redistricting. When are you going forward to pick one to meet state’s demand we have a racial ly based plan?
Ans.Maybe more options, maybe not. June 20 is not our deadline..
I’m done here. Main impression I’m taking away? We have an incredibly articulate group of parents in this town. Having suffered through many public hearings in other towns when I was lawyering, the intelligence of parents here is astonishing.
Summary, until I get back to a real keyboard, the BOE is going to be forced by citizens to challenge this law. I think we’ll win, we might lose, but the political pressure will make that challenge inevitable. I was chatting with Peter Tesei in the hall afterwards (where were the Democrats?) and while I certainly wouldn’t put words in his mouth, Peter’s a politician, and he was impressed , I think, by the passion and intensity displayed in that auditorium, from parents from all areas of town: New Lebanon to Parkway, North Street to Old Greenwich. This is the hottest issue to hit the town in my memory – 50 years or so- and it won’t go away. Too much money in the form of property values, and the huge attachment to neighborhood schools to let this go away.