The conversations I had reminded me of starting my last campaign two years ago in that same neighborhood.
While they researched these changes, though, it seemed as if they weren't taking into consideration either the feelings of the students, who didn't want to be moved or concentrated in larger schools, or the parents, or the neighbors, who may have moved to the area for the school. Over all the years that the District has been closing schools (and thats a lot of years, don't think this last group was the ONLY group!) they have never kept track of what happened demographically, or to property values, or to the growth of charters when a neighborhood school was closed. Property values? who knows?!
And now, fast forward two years, and the Fort Lowell School is going to be sold. Once again the neighbors were informed, not consulted. Despite City efforts to contact the District and set up neighborhood meetings, these did not happen in time for neighbors' ideas to be considered. When the school's sale was authorized at the last board meeting, the developers didn't know what they would do with the property, but it depends on a zoning change. Board members pointed out that the District doesn't really have to do much additional outreach, as the zoning commission will have to take that on.
TUSD needs the community and needs to reach out to it when there are changes in the air. Its not enough to contact students and parents--neighbors too must be consulted when there are construction plans or change-in-use plans that will affect traffic, sight lines, and other things that are important to residents. The District has to work with the City solidly and constructively in the future. Its neighborhood outreach must become much stronger. Just as communication with parents is important, so is communication with neighbors. This will be one of my priorities if I am elected to the Board, as it is one of my priorities now.