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POLL: Should Parents Try to Stop Mary Drew Closure in the 11th Hour?

Tuesday's re-vote over closing the elementary school has given some parents and residents cause to try to make a final attempt to save Mary Drew. But is that the right thing to do? Tell us what you think.

Tuesday's re-vote by the Summit Hill School District 161 board to close for the 2012-13 school year might be a formality. But it hasn't stopped parents from trying to persuade the board to reverse course.

that the board didn't sufficiently notify the public that it would be taking action to close Mary Drew at its Feb. 22 meeting. The closing was included under the "Planning for the Future" agenda item at last week's meeting, .

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Parents and other district residents, however, are looking at this meeting as a final opportunity to save the school from closing. Over the weekend, parents took to online forums such as Facebook to mobilize people to attend Tuesday's morning and tell board members they want Mary Drew to stay open. A petition started by Kelly Meister asks board members to increase registration and extracurricular fees and charge for busing instead of closing a school.

But is it a good idea to try to save Mary Drew Elementary School? The district faces a $3 million deficit over the next three years, and the board is looking to cut $1.4 million from the budget this year. Board members already voted to keep the district's full-day kindergarten program, and they're quickly running out of places to make substantial cuts.

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However, many parents argue that closing Mary Drew--or any school, for that matter--isn't the answer. More research needs to be done and, in the meantime, cuts can be made in other areas.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Take our poll and share your thoughts in the comments section.

MagtheHag February 29, 2012 at 04:31 AM
"why doesn't the board let us know of financial problems" "it's a board doing as they please." "If they can justify the closing, I will stand down". Please, your board has meeting every month some even twice a month and release all this information for all to see. YOU all voted in this board to speak for you and now they have you are not happy. I'm sure this school closing and money being insufficient is not new news to your board. Someone has to make these tough decisions and it looks as if they made one they believe is in the best interest of their district. It seems as if it was everyone else's problem until it effected your school. Next time maybe, you will pay attention to where YOUR money is being spent.
Tracy February 29, 2012 at 04:39 AM
Well, you weren't at the meeting obviously, because was the first time anyone heard stats to why which school was give tonight, and actually surprised many, and at least was info to embrace and support. The finance guy even stated the figures weren't / aren't done. So, think what you like on them sharing info - because it isn't happening. Kenny even admitted herself, while dragging in Rains, that the two of them consulted a lawyer prior to last weeks meeting regarding if they have to disclose it on the agenda, which, what a sucky lawyer to advise them it would be ok not to. Feel free to like the board, I didn't vote them all in, one was appointed. Nah! Keep this same attitude for the rest of the tough decisions is all I'm saying, nothing ended tonight except MD. Funny, I heard the word Hag used a few times tonight... wasn't referencing you though... Glad you are ok with a sneaky, secretive board.
taxpayer February 29, 2012 at 04:41 AM
Not as soft as I would have put it, but so true. None of this is a shock to me, and I encourage people to attend meetings now that they FINALLY have the community attention. There was barely a rumble when the approved a pay raise and contract extention for Keith Pain. I am willing to bet not even 50% of people voted at the last board election.
sensible February 29, 2012 at 05:49 PM
Tracy if you had been going to each meeting you would be aware that there is no sneaking going on. Since Doyle changed his vote at the very last minute to keep FDK for the next year the board the said "Then we need to put closing 1-2 schools back on the agenda for the next meeting" and if you go to the pod cast that may be an exact quote! So I knew this was happening where were you? Please pay attention!
Tracy March 01, 2012 at 04:32 AM
Well, reality is it was never off the table, and neither is a second school, or programs or busing or activities... it's just begining. I'm on the blogfs and pod casts when not at meetings, feel free to sit by me at the next one. Still doesn't change that the board snuck it on the agenda, vote wise, and that guilt was acknowledged.

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