Closing Peebles 'misguided'
The North Allegheny School District administration presented a revised proposal regarding the closing of Peebles Elementary School at the March 20 school board meeting.
Its revised proposal consisted of:
• Delay closing Peebles Elementary until 2014-2015, which the administration believes will save $850,000 per year.
• Begin work immediately on creating five extra classrooms at McKnight Elementary, which the administration believes will cost $525,000.
However, the revised proposal still does not address the community's biggest concern -- class size.
Based on the district's records, elementary enrollment has increased over the last several years. Based on information from real estate agents, new housing developments are projected to add more than 850 homes to the district.
On March 20, the administration said it would need to add 10-14 elementary sections next year to keep class size below district guidelines. And, officials said there will only be 14 spare classrooms if the district expands McKnight and closes Peebles.
Thus, all 14 spare classrooms that remain after closing Peebles and expanding McKnight would need to be utilized in order to maintain class sizes below district guidelines. This would leave no spare classrooms for fluctuations in enrollment.
It is time for the administration to stop using man-hours trying to find ways to support its misguided recommendation to close a school.
Keeping all seven elementary schools open is the only solution that ensures a quality education for the children of our community.
Letters are subject to editing and should not exceed 250 words. Only one letter will be published from the same writer every three months. The letter must include the writer's name, postal and/or email address and phone number. Send letters to: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15222. Or, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.