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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Task Force Adds Korematsu to List of Possible Closures

In a move that will no doubt only serve to inflame already heated tensions, the school district's task for added the closure of Korematsu to a list of options that includes now closing Valley Oak and keeping all nine elementary schools open. There are also a couple of derivations thereof which would include Korematsu only serving grades K-3 or Valley Oak only serving grades K-3.

Several times in the past we have reported on the closing of Valley Oak and suggested that it was not in the best interest of the students attending there. Others have pointed out that while it is true that Valley Oak has a high attendance, much of that is from out of neighborhood kids attending the school to utilize the GATE program.

However, it would seem to us that leaving the students from some of the more at-risk backgrounds in their own neighborhood school is in their best interest.

Likewise, it makes little sense to close a school that the school district just spent tremendous resources to construct. The parents in Mace Ranch have worked long and hard to get their school.

Kirk Trost who chairs the task force told the Davis Enterprise Friday that there were several factors that put Korematsu on the list:
"(Korematsu) is a new facility, which potentially gives the school board greater options with respect to re-use in the future," he said. "And it would result in less impact on students," since Korematsu currently serves only grades K-1. Closing Valley Oak would result in more children being moved to a different campus.

"That's not to advocate (for that option)," Trost said. "But these were issues I've heard people discuss as to why we might include Korematsu as a school for consideration for closure."
It is the view of the People's Vanguard of Davis that these options will serve to mobilize each neighborhood against the other neighborhood's school. If that happens, someone invariably stands to lose this battle. The better option at this point would be for both neighborhood schools to band together and push for the nine school option. Neighborhood schools should be the goal of the district. Moreover, we recommend that the parents in other neighborhoods join together, today it may be Korematsu and Valley Oak, soon it may be your neighborhood school.

---Doug Paul Davis reporting