Telling the stories that the mainstream media no longer tell.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 15 other subscribers

Archives

Categories

Follow me on Twitter

December 2016
M T W T F S S
« Mar    
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031  

Hillsboro’s Hostages

[Reposted from my blog at http://hillsboroerik.com .]

Recently the Hillsboro School Board denied a request by the residents of South Cooper Mountain to transfer their neighborhood from the Hillsboro to the Beaverton school district. The first step is for Hillsboro to approve– but our school board refused.      It looks to me like this was clearly a decision that was not in the best interests of the children.

Why would it make sense to transfer this neighborhood into the Beaverton school district?

  • Their main argument was simple geography:  while they were in the Hillsboro district for historical reasons, they sit on the border of the Beaverton district, and Beaverton schools are much closer. The closest elementary and middle schools in Beaverton are .5 and 3.7 miles away, while the correponding distances for Hillsboro are 3 and 9 miles. And Beaverton is planning a new high school in the area, while the nearest Hillsboro high school is 10 miles away.
  • Due to these distances, as part of the Beaverton district, many students would be able to walk or bike to school,while as part of Hillsboro they would depend completely on buses. Aren’t we supposed to be encouraging physical activity in students these days?
  • Beaverton is generally considered a much better school district overall. Shouldn’t every parent have a right to demand the best possible education for their children from among available options?
  • Beaverton also offers many opportunities through its “learning options” program that simply aren’t available in Hillsboro: magnet schools with Arts, International, and STEM foci, and two charter schools specializing in foreign language immersion.
  • Every homeowner in the neigborhood has signed on to this request.

Hillsboro’s arguments against this change do not seem very impressive. Reading the Argus articleon the vote, we see the following counter-arguments from the district:

  • Hillsboro would lose the $5.7 million in state funding that would move to Beaverton with the students.  But board member Monte Akers, one of the few not to vote against the Cooper Mountatin residents, pointed out that each student currently costs the district slightly more than the state funding received, so the net effect on Hillsboro’s budget would be negligible.    And we should also point out that no money is being “lost” by the public education system as a whole; we’re just changing which district spends it.
  • Hillsboro is growing and is capable of accomodating the neighborhood.   But I don’t see why this is an argument against the transfer– certainly it is also capable of not accomodating the neighborhood, if that’s what is best for the students.  And if the district population isn’t growing, won’t the removal of some students help by slowing down the increase?
  • This would “hurt” the closest elementary school, Groner, which would have fewer students. Again, why is this a compelling reason to fail to provide the best education possible for each student?
  • Worry about the precedent this would set.   In the words of board member Carolyn Ortmann, “You don’t start whittling away the district”.

The last argument is what I find most disturbing. Clearly the board is afraid that if the precedent is set, other boundary regions who are not being well-served by Hillsboro’s education system will also look for opportunities to flee the district. My answer to this is: what matters more, the power and money of Hillsboro’s school district, or the actual education of children? The board’s primary goal should be to provide the best possible education for every child in the district. If this goal is best served for certain students by allowing them to be educated in another district, they should support that. And if they don’t, then it is clear that the board and administration consider their personal empire more important than the children they claim to serve.
If you believe the Hillsboro school board and administration should consider children’s education their top priority, call the Hillsboro School District at 503-844-1500 and email schoolboard@hsd.k12.or.us , and demand that board members Ortmann, Canas, Sollman, Strelchun, and Lantz change their votes on the South Cooper Mountain issue. And if they refuse, remember this when board members Ortmann, Sollman, and Lantz come up for re-election this May.

Similar posts

1 Comment

  1. Jan's Gravatar Jan
    December 9, 2012    

    It appears the parents need to speak to the School Board in a language they understand.
    1. Public health for the children
    2. Enviromental education – a teaching moment

    The children need the exercise of riding bikes or walking to school. It is not Green to use the buses for such long distances. Forcing the children to ride buses does not send the right message about saving the environment.

This site sponsored by:

YOU! Your message could reach thousands of online consumers. Click CONTACT to inquire about advertising rates.

Paid advertisement

  • We’re re-launching, and looking for a reporter for 2017 November 11, 2016
      You may not have noticed…  But we’re back. We’re getting ourselves organized and our feet back underneath us.  After a transition this summer, we are re-investing in the future of The Wire, and that starts with looking for great reporting talent! So, take a look at our job description here. We will have more […]
  • WSHA hires Chris Bandoli to lead government relations November 5, 2016
    This week, the Washington State Hospital Association announced the hiring of Chris Bandoli to the position of SVP for Advocacy and Government Affairs. Bandoli was previously at Regence Blue Shield where he led government affairs for the plan. The post WSHA hires Chris Bandoli to lead government relations appeared first on Washington State Wire.
  • Sen. Andy Hill Passes Away From Lung Cancer November 1, 2016
    The news came via an email from Sen. Joe Fain. The post Sen. Andy Hill Passes Away From Lung Cancer appeared first on Washington State Wire.
  • China Prepares for Anti-Satellite Missile Test December 9, 2016
    China is preparing to conduct a flight test of a new missile capable of destroying satellites in space, one of Beijing's most potent asymmetric warfare weapons. The post China Prepares for Anti-Satellite Missile Test appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.
  • Requiem for a Narrative December 9, 2016
    At a dinner in Washington earlier this week—one packed with well-meaning folks who really, really wanted this year's election to have gone the other way—I heard a speaker cite Elizabeth Bishop's One Art by way of consoling the audience. "The art of losing isn't hard to master," the poem famously begins. The speaker hastened to […]
  • ‘Office Christmas Party’ Review December 9, 2016
    Office Christmas Party is, more or less, exactly what you're expecting: a funny-ish ensemble comedy with holiday-season trappings in which a bunch of famous faces play roles you've seen them play over and over again. The post ‘Office Christmas Party’ Review appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.
  • Can Trump Stimulate a New Suburban Boom? December 9, 2016
    President-elect Trump has “the opportunity to preside over a Great Wave of suburbanization and give another generation the opportunity to unlock the modern version of the American Dream,” says Walter Russell Mead in The American Interest magazine. Mead is a professor of foreign affairs at Bard College. While the Antiplanner appreciates Mead’s ambition, he greatly […]
  • It’s Infrastructure, So It Must Be Worthwhile December 8, 2016
    The city of Port Angeles, Washington spent $107,516 putting up wind turbines in a new city park. The turbines will power 31 lights in the park. This will save the taxpayers of Port Angeles a whopping $41.58 per month. At that rate, it will take 216 years for it to pay off (at zero interest […]
  • Secretary Carson December 7, 2016
    Ben Carson has accepted Donald Trump’s nomination as Secretary of Housing & Urban Development, leading to all sorts of personal attacks and dire predictions for the future of cities under his leadership. The main point of contention is Carson’s belief that the federal government should not get involved in most local issues, which ought to […]