Since when?

Although so-called “portable” buildings dot the campuses of close-in schools, we’re apparently to consider these add-on eyesores to be signs of “under-enrollment.” The local daily covered last night’s capacity hearing on the issue of doing away with some of Austin’s older schools (“Becker neighbors thrash idea of swapping schools: Parents, teachers, students turn out in force to oppose district’s proposal,” reported by Raven L. Hill). Even though the article appeared below the fold, it was on page one of section one and took a substantial portion of the section’s back page as well.

Who thinks that doing away with schools to which the students can walk is a way to further parental involvement and strengthen a neighborhood? This is a district that uses taxes levied on people living in neighborhoods with infrastructure and school properties long since paid for (and sometimes atop increasingly valuable real estate surrounded by properties zooming up in value) in order to build palaces out in the newer parts of town.

Those without personal transportation whose children would be bused to school “less than two miles away” (make that about two miles away) would no longer be able to walk to the schools easily for meetings and programs after work, since the older schools were for the most part built in the hearts of their neighborhoods and not on public bus lines.

Being peddled as “efficiency” as well as “better utilization of district facilities,” this is just an echo of the abolition of historic voting precincts in the heart of Austin.

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