UPDATE: School District doesn’t want to release information that will show open enrollment has caused segregation

UPDATE: On September 4, the SFSD did a ‘partial’ presentation ABOVE on demographics. When it was asked if Super Maher has further numbers about open enrollment affects, he claimed that they have never put those numbers together, but could discuss doing it in the future. How convenient.

Shocker! A little over a month before a $300 million dollar bond vote and the School District doesn’t want to tell us their dirty little secret;

The Argus Leader submitted an open records request to the Sioux Falls School District for a demographic and socioeconomic breakdown of students by campus for the last 20 years — since the last bond election — to see how those numbers might have changed over time.

But the district said it will cost more than $1,200 to release the public information, stored in an electronic database. The Argus Leader had not pursued the request further as of Thursday.

I find it hard to believe it would cost $1,200 to email a data base. If that is the case, the school district needs to immediately fire their IT director for incredible incompetence.

I have said all along the School District needs to end open enrollment, redistrict and draw new boundaries BEFORE building new schools.

I have been told by several parents that they open enroll their kids in other schools besides the ones in their districts because they don’t want their kids going to ‘certain schools’ with ‘certain students’. While I would hope they are not talking about race, I do know they don’t want their kids going to the ‘poor schools.’

The Argus needs to shell out the $1,200 and demand the information before the vote, and they need to do it NOW before they have a chance to ‘fudge’ the numbers, because that is what they really mean by the $1,200 price tag.

This bond vote will go down in history as an incredible travesty, and I just hope at least 41% of the voters have the brains to see through this sham.



10 comments ↓

#1 JKC on 09.07.18 at 1:16 am

When Janklow first dreamed up this open enrollment idea in the mid 90s, he was hoping to use it to force the consolidation of smaller school districts. I am not sure how well that worked, but it has caused many of our student athletes to become “free agents” and for our schools to become further segregated.

#JimCrowInDisguise

#2 Donald Pay on 09.07.18 at 9:39 am

My experience with open enrollment was just the opposite. We used open enrollment in Rapid City to enroll my daughter in the most diverse school in the district. Rapid City had a similar policy before Jankow took it

There are a lot of reasons to have open enrollment. If you have a lot of racist parents, you might get segregated schools. If that’s the case, someone can file a suit challenging the way open enrollment works in that district. That way you get the data on discovery for free. There are ways to prevent segregation through open enrollment.

As a school board member in Rapid City, we faced having to close schools, redraw boundaries and build new elementary schools. Redrawing boundaries may work, but in a growing district it will only work for so long. There is the issue of old schools costing a lot to maintain or retrofit. It’s a difficult choice to make.

#3 l3wis on 09.07.18 at 10:10 am

DP – I am not against building new schools or even bonding for some of it. I just think the SFSD should have done those things first so they would have a better idea of where to build the schools.

#4 Donald Pay on 09.07.18 at 1:19 pm

A lot of schools get built on the edge of town. Often that is where future growth is likely to happen. It is also where there is cheaper land, even though development costs may be higher. Since that often means newer development and higher economic levels, the new schools tend to serve wealthier areas.

The Rapid City district would buy land years in advance, just to get a cheap price, and sit on it for years. Generally, districts work with the city to discuss how the area will build out.

I believe SFSD remodeled my old elementary school, Mark Twain, a few years ago, while closing one or two schools. Years ago they built schools with maximum capacity of about 300 students. When I was in Rapid, the capacity of newly constructed schools was about 600. Smaller schools are preferred for educational purposes, but they cost more per student to operate. So, here’s the deal: lower income areas end up with older schools, but smaller, often better, schools. It’s a trade off.

#5 D@ily Spin on 09.07.18 at 1:22 pm

What if the school district needs the 300 million to settle a forthcoming civil rights lawsuit brought by minority parents with children who cannot afford transit and expenses to the rich side of town?

#6 l3wis on 09.07.18 at 1:51 pm

DP – I get what you are saying, but I’m guessing if that report contained positive information, the SFSD would have released it at no charge in a heartbeat.

You also bring up a great example, when they closed Longfellow recently the SFSD said it couldn’t be fixed, it was too old, etc, etc. But a non-profit bought it and fixed it up on the cheap. Drive by it sometime, it looks wonderful.

#7 guest on 09.07.18 at 2:21 pm

Jefferson was torn down and replaced with the spanish immersion school Sonia Sotomayor

For someone like your self who seems to always have all the answers its hard to give you credit when your out of touch with the existing school buildings.

And Mr Daily, the school system already has a fee based bus system largely subsidized by the district already. There are free and reduced rates to and after school. The buses run to several of the schools like the A+ school at Eugene field, the challenge center and the immersion school.

#8 l3wis on 09.07.18 at 2:44 pm

I meant Longfellow, I always get those two confused.

#9 l3wis on 09.07.18 at 2:46 pm

And BTW, I don’t consider my an expert on the school district, BUT, I can spot government waste a mile away and this plan is a total sham.

#10 anonymous on 09.07.18 at 8:39 pm

Donald Pay

So, here’s the deal: lower income areas end up with older schools, but smaller, often better, schools.

Not necessarily true in SF. You only have to look to George McGovern Middle School which serves many low income students.

Hmm….brand new school which many west-side parents do NOT want to send their kids to, so consequently we have a new middle school that is under-capacity and the other middle school on the west side is drastically over-capacity.

And, who allowed this to happen…….?

Wonder why……!!

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