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Fair,66°
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
UPDATED
East School spared
Board of Ed votes against closing the elementary school
By Alexandra Spychalsky
Alyson Goodman/Herald
The Board of Education voted Wednesday night to keep East School open to students.

The Long Beach Board of Education voted last week to keep East School open, after a proposal to reconfigure the district’s schools spurred two months of heated discussion and criticism from parents.

All five trustees voted not to close the elementary school. However, three voted not to make any changes to the district’s structure, while two voted for the administration to explore the option of creating an early-childhood learning center at the Lido School.

“Change is uncomfortable,” said Trustee Roy Lester. “But if we want improvements, it’s necessary.”

The vote stemmed from a presentation made by the district’s Facilities Study Group in November. The group was tasked with finding the most efficient use of the district’s eight buildings in light of declining enrollment and anticipated financial shortfalls. The group presented 11 options to the public, which were later whittled down to five by administrators. Two scenarios involved converting East School to administrative offices and the adult learning center, two called for a reconfiguration of the district’s elementary schools and one called for keeping things as is, with pre-K at Lido School and all four elementary schools — Lido, East, West and Lindell — hosting kindergarten through fifth grades.

Trustees Stewart Mininsky, Darlene Tangney and Dennis Ryan voted for the status quo. “Leave East school as is,” said Mininsky, “and let’s put this issue, and the angst of the community, to rest.”

Tangney said that she enjoyed having all of her kids in one school — Lindell — at the same time, and that she believed that a second-grade transition to a different building, which would be part of the early-childhood learning-center scenario — would be too difficult, because children have already formed strong bonds with friends. She also said that the current structure is beneficial for teachers, making it easier for them to compare notes with their students’ previous teachers because they are all in the same building.

“This is not the time for our community to be divided,” Tangney said. “We’ve come too far for that.”

Comments

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MerlinJones

Awesome. We will continue to have underutilized schools and cut programs instead to make budget. The BOE does not represent the parochial interests of any singular set of parents or homeowners, but the school district as a whole. In taking this important job, they are supposed to be above the fray of special interest pressure. Guess not.

Thursday, February 6, 2014 | Report this
SamSung

A bunch of hysterical prescription drugged soccer moms intimidated a school board made up of old scraggily teacher's allies. Now more then ever it is important for the taxpayer to vote NO on the upcoming school budget to send the message that the taxpayer will not continue to be scammed.

Thursday, February 6, 2014 | Report this
longbeachteachers

Thank you trustees Mininsky, Tangney and Ryan. Remain resolute not to let journeymen administrators destroy our great school district.

Thursday, February 6, 2014 | Report this
SamSung

Yes the same "journeymen administrators" who pay property taxes to support a ridiculous shovel ready jobs bill for teachers.

Saturday, February 8, 2014 | Report this
SamSung

The best way to counter this onerous decision is to VOTE NO on the next school budget.

Saturday, February 8, 2014 | Report this
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