Pro-reorganization candidates win board seats in Kansas City (Mo.) district

April 7, 2010
Three newly elected board members support plan to close 26 of the district's schools

FromThe Kansas City Star: A slate of candidates that strongly supports the Kansas City (Mo.) district's plan to close nearly half of its schools has won election to the board. Candidates Kyleen Carroll, Crispin Rea Jr. and Joseph Jackson won the three contested seats with commanding victories. An opposing slate of candidates opposed the plan and said they would be willing to revisit it if the public demanded it.

MARCH 2010....from The New York Times: The closing of more than two dozen schools in the Kansas City (Mo.) district suggests serious dysfunction. The school board’s recent history reveals a chaotic, almost nonfunctioning body that put off making tough choices and even routine improvements for generations. Experts said that in the board’s years of inaction is a cautionary tale for school districts everywhere. ALSO...From The New York Times: The newspaper asks a panel of educators: How much does school size matter? And what are the lessons learned from Kansas City?

Earlier from The Kansas City Star: The Kansas City (Mo.) school board voted 5 to 4 to move ahead with a plan to close 26 schools--nearly half of the district's campuses. Superintendent John Covington’s “Right Sizing Plan” seeks to cut $50 million from the shrunken district’s budget. The plan will leave the district operating 33 schools, the fewest in 120 years. The district’s enrollment in 1889 was less than 18,000 — the same as its current enrollment. At its peak in the late 1960s, Kansas City was using more than 100 buildings and serving some 75,000 students.

Earlier...from The Kansas City Star: Kansas City (Mo.) District Superintendent John Covington is pressing forward with a massive school closings proposal, sending board members a revised list of 26 schools, plus the system's downtown administration building. The new proposal, pared down from an original plan for 31 closings, still would stand among the most audacious school closing efforts ever seen across the nation. FEBRUARY 2010:..from The Kansas City Star: About 400 people came out to a public hearing to try to save their schools from the chopping block in the Kansas City (Mo.) district. Superintendent John Covington offered some hope that his plan to close half of the district’s 60 schools could change But even if some schools are spared, Covington still is poised to make the most dramatic cut in schools in district history. Revenue sources are declining, district enrollment has fallen by 50 percent in the last 10 years, and school closings have not kept pace.

Earlier from The Kansas City Star: Kansas City (Mo.) Superintendent John Covington has unveiled a sweeping plan to close half the district’s schools, redistribute grade levels and sell the downtown central office. Under the proposal, 29 to 31 of the district’s 60 schools would close. The district has closed more than 40 schools over the past 40 years, but the shutdowns haven’t kept pace with the decline in enrollment — from a peak of 75,000 students in the late 1960s to 17,000 today.

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