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Los Angeles County, CA November 6, 2007 Election
Smart Voter

School Closure

By Greg W. Hunter

Candidate for Governing Board Member; Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District

This information is provided by the candidate
I believe closing schools should be a last resort.
Position: School Closure

In what follows, I have endeavored to write a brief summary of my attitude toward the idea of closing schools.

Before going into much detail about my opinion, I should say that I have thought a fair amount about the issue. About two years ago that Norwalk-LaMirada USD proposed closing a local elementary school that two of my four children attend + Dulles Elementary, which is located in the north-east corner of LaMirada. As a consequence of concern for my local school, I became involved in a committee to evaluate the proposed closure that met for the better part of a year nearly once a month + The Declining Enrollment Committee. The discussions I was a party to on the committee had a formative impact on the opinion expressed below.

I believe small neighborhood schools are better of children and their communities. Thus, school closures should only take place as a last resort. In the case of our District, it has become clear to me that some of the folks influencing policy have the opposite opinion. In fact upon looking at the proposal to close Dulles, it became clear that there was no substantive reason for the proposal to be put forward. The administration coined the phrase "declining enrollment" as a sort of smoke screen to soften public perception and justify their proposal, which otherwise would have been rejected immediately by everyone in the community as being unreasonable. I have a bit more to say on the legitimacy of "declining enrollment" as an "issue" facing the NLMUSD, but I'll save that for another brief.

To reiterate my position, school closures should be a last resort because they create crowded schools, distract children from learning, and exacerbate the traffic, noise, and pollution associated with transporting children to and from a school site.

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