Oklahoma City parents decry school closures at public forums
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Parents questioned the usefulness of an Oklahoma City Public Schools plan to close, relocate or change more than 20 schools at the last of five public forums on the realignment project.
The meeting Wednesday night drew more than 1,000 people to Northwest Classen High School, The Oklahoman reported.
Sean McDaniel, District Superintendent, vowed to “reinvent” the state’s largest district by aligning facilities and resources with instructional necessities.
John McCain, a parent at one of the elementary schools that would be closed or reconfigured, questioned why the district wanted to close four schools located within close proximity of one another.
“Now a five-minute walk is going to turn into a 10-minute drive,” McCain said.
The district has proposed a realignment project to close around a dozen schools, convert five elementary schools into middle schools, relocate four charter schools and disband the district’s mid-high model.
A considerable amount of the feedback directed at McDaniel was contentious.
“Your plan should be called the Gateway to Confusion,” said Aleta Gleason, a grandparent who is raising two children who attend Gatewood Elementary, a school facing closure.
All three of McDaniel’s options include school boundaries, grade structures and feeder patterns.
“We believe that we can do better by all of our kids,” he said, referring to district’s 46,000 students. “Kids in many areas of our district have nothing. Through this process, we believe we can provide opportunity.”
McDaniel will recommend one plan to the school board Feb. 19.
Information from: The Oklahoman, http://www.newsok.com