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To: Lawrence Board of Education

Transparent Data Driven Proposals For USD 497 Spending and Structure

We, the community of Lawrence, Kansas, request that the Board of Education require the following minimum standards prior to voting or adopting proposals within the District:

- Require enough time for careful evaluation before voting on potential cuts and closures. The current budget proposal is not based on a detailed objective analysis as it stands.

- To ensure transparency and foster trust, the Board should require the District to publish the calculations used to estimate proposed savings, accounting for all relevant factors. This critically concerns best use of public money for long-term fiscal responsibility, with a focus on quality of student and school building staff environment and learning outcomes.

- Allow the Futures Planning Committee members to survey and use data directly from teachers and principals in the formulation of proposals for restructuring and spending within USD 497 with a goal of empowering our frontline leaders.

Why is this important?

Closing schools is a decision with long-term impact that needs to be carefully evaluated with complete supporting data. Research shows that closing schools creates learning environments that negate greater student and teacher outcomes including areas related to student behavior, curriculum understanding and teacher effectiveness, especially at the elementary and middle school levels.

School building staff are creative problem solvers that have direct experience with their school communities and take the impact. Including direct teacher and community data, collaboration and decision-making could have long-term impact on future expenditures and the well-being of community schools and learning environments.

All proposals should be transparent with data (show the math) for community review and input sessions.

To avoid future blight, and lowered surrounding property values, should any proposal to close a school be approved, that proposal will have thoroughly documented future use and exit plans communicated to families and teachers directly following Board of Education approval at least one year prior to closure.

USD 497 District Administration shall acknowledge the authority of the Lawrence Board of Education and adopt any provisions it requires to represent the community, its values, and the expenditure of taxpayer dollars.

How it will be delivered

Online, email, paper/poster with QR code



2023-02-21 10:32:51 -0500

IMPORTANT! Read the Details :

2023-02-13 16:00:21 -0500

100 signatures reached

2023-02-11 11:48:53 -0500

Please note the draft proposal image in the article above shows the proposal to close 2 elementary schools and one middle school but only offers up one administrative position, among introducing even larger class sizes and reducing teacher PLAN time.
Please also note that these numbers are summaries, and no line by line cost has been shared with the Futures Planning Committee or the public.

Join us in advocating that the District show the math for these summaries and garner school building staff input before the Board votes Feb 27th, 2023.
We 'd like to find a better way to balance the budget and it all starts with transparent data!!

2023-02-09 20:25:33 -0500

50 signatures reached

2023-02-08 21:57:06 -0500

25 signatures reached

2023-02-08 15:58:53 -0500

10 signatures reached