Wednesday, June 07, 2023

Parents, taxpayers need to speak up on school decisions

| September 13, 2006 12:00 AM

To the Editor:

Perhaps this letter should be addressed to the school board but I felt it more important the taxpayers/parents of Lincoln County know what some of their dollars are and are not paying for in the schools.

There was an article a few weeks ago indicating there are some changes going into the new school year. What wasn't mentioned is the new travel teams of seventh- and eighth-grade students involved in extracurricular activities at the Libby Middle School.

Two days after registration, I reviewed the school welcome packet and saw on the calendar that three Saturdays in September there are volleyball tournaments scheduled. Two of these tournaments are in Thompson Falls and Noxon. In addition, I saw a Troy game and a Eureka game scheduled out of town during the week. I understand this may also be taking place for girls and boys basketball but who knows, parents haven't been notified.

Apparently this schedule was set up in May 2006. This seems to me to be ample time to notify parents before the school year began.

When I inquired about a parent meeting, there isn't one scheduled. No information was given out the first three days of practice either. When I inquired about transportation of the students, I was told they would be going by bus. Where is the money coming from for this transportation?

I am sure transportation of these students is not cheap, as the price of gas is not what it used to be. The taxpayers are continually told there is no extra money, but yet we are now going to travel 12- to 14-year-old students for extracurricular activities. Is it necessary for them to give up three Saturdays of September for sports?

If I wanted my child to travel at this age, we would look into playing Rotary volleyball and basketball. I could choose to not have my child play, but physical education is only for two quarters during the school year and she enjoys the activity.

There is no money to provide home economics, no money for seventh-graders to have music and art; it's one or the other. I thought moving the fourth-graders to the middle school opened up more opportunities.

Well, what happened to music, art and home economics for each student during the school year? I have to wonder if all the supplies needed for the classrooms have been made available; the school doesn't even buy Kleenex.

I just don't think children of this age that have one to two hours of homework three to four nights a week, need to be traveling to Eureka during the week and then give up Saturdays. They are children, and traveling sports for four years of high school is enough. Maybe the excess money could be given to the sports at the high school that are currently not supported.

I know complaining to the school administration does no good. I just become a meddling parent (not concerned) and the school has the attitude that they have made their decision and they are not going to change it. I've been to school board meetings. They might listen to you but they are not changing their minds.

Why is it that the parents/taxpayers in this community are not asked to come to a meeting for discussion before you make a decision? How many more behind-the-door decisions are you going to make about our children and not notify us?

Parents/taxpayers, we need to start speaking up or they will continue with this course of behind closed doors decision making.

Laurie Sullivan