The Salt Lake City School District is just shocked at the prospect of starting school closures. How shocking it must have been after persuading an obedient citizenry to vote in favor of a $136 million bond last year to solve overcrowding in the northwest by building two new schools. Now they are faced with having to run those schools and not having enough money.
What to do? Create a crisis. That's exactly what's happened as the school board considers closing as many as three schools on the east side. By ignoring the competitive value and equalizing effect of the state's school-choice law and by projecting a declining population of kids on the east side, the board has found its justification.
The board made its projections based on an ideal school size of 550 students. Board members have said the ideal is between 500 and 550.
If the board had just used the 500 figure, it would find that school closures were unnecessary. Gosh, is this just a number's game in which students and their parents suffer the real consequences? Parents have asked only that the board review its budget, cut the fat and cut through the smoke and mirrors.
If my accountant had told me to raise $136 million and later told me I had to sell my house and mortgage my business, I'd fire him.
Salt Lake City