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Fox C-6 School District: Is Spending $3.3 Million on Sports Stadiums Appropriate?

Advocate asks Fox School District officials if $3.3 million is justified for updating the high school football arenas.

After reading the news in a recent Patch article by Denise Bertacchi, which stated that the Fox C-6 School District has plans to spend $3.3 million on a sports stadium, it seemed that some questions need to be asked of the public school district officials, which includes but is not limited to Dianne Brown, and the elected school board members. 

1) Do you think that a $3.3 million sports stadium is appropriate for your district?  Looking at the demographics, the joblessness, the depressed economy and so forth, is the $3.3 million best invested in a pretty-to-look-at sports arena?

2) Have all schools in the Fox C-6 School District ceased systemically practicing separate schedules for students with disabilities? You may recall that one of the reasons given for the practice of the separate schedules was that the district could not afford to provide enough "special ed buses." This was but one of many attempts by district officials to justify the systemic early dismissal of students with disabilities to International Coalition for Autism and All Abilities (ICAA) advocates, as well as education officials.

3)  Have district schools been provided enough copy/printing paper? For several school years in a row, parents were told that some school notes and handouts weren't coming home due to a "paper shortage" at the schools.

4) Do students still have to share books, or rely on books that are falling apart, or are outdated?

5) Have all schools been meeting federal and state standards academically and otherwise?

6) Have all schools been in compliance of all federal and state laws?

7) Have all students who need assistance with school mandated supplies (like specific planners for different grades) been able to access such assistance? Some schools were unable to supply these planners for students, and budget cuts were cited as the reason in the recent past.

8) Have all schools in need of paraprofessionals been able to hire them? Many schools have been in need, but have been told they cannot afford the additional staff.

9) How will a $3.3 million-bill for a more attractive sports stadium solve all these problems in the district?

10) Is the school district still considering cuts to programs and staff, such as various supports or programs for students?

11) How are the taxpayers in the community going to be affected? Will they benefit more from the better looking sports stadium than they will adequate books and appropriate learning tools for all students?

12) How will this decision affect teachers and the overall school community?

It would be appropriate (and much appreciated) for the Fox C-6 School District officials to answer these questions.

Perhaps the decision-making officials in the district believe the $3.3 million decision is appropriate. After all, there has been very little (public) protest of the superintendent's annual salary, which is reported to be nearly a quarter of a million dollars (public record).

Do the taxpaying citizens believe $3.3 million should be spent at this time on high school football arenas?

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Emily Malabey December 08, 2012 at 03:51 AM
There is a separate schedule in operation. The separate schedule includes an earlier dismissal for children with disabilities. This is not in dispute but fact. Further, we have seen these children leaving as others (on the actual published school schedule) look on. It's not simply about a discrepancy in "number of minutes" (though there is often a difference there too) but about actual systemic discriminatory behaviors. What do you have to offer towards the rest of the post? Any idea how the district can justify such gross expenditures in light of all these other issues?
Jeanne Bata January 22, 2013 at 05:58 PM
As a past employee for special education students they do arrive earlier and leave alittle earlier but they are learning from time off bus to time back on social skills manners organization skills so they are getting their time but maybe not traditional academics. Special education students are not losing out.
Emily Malabey January 23, 2013 at 03:40 PM
Thank you for your comment, Jeanne. I agree these social interactions are important for all students. However, they are not counted as "educational time" for any other students. Of course, this is also not the goal of this time. It is simply transportation, and not a matter of monitored, goal oriented social interaction, as which may happen in the classroom, during actual class time. Ultimately, the law doesn't count transportation, only classroom time. And the law demands equal classroom time. Perhaps you feel that five, ten, thirty minutes per day, or even per year, is not a big deal,but the law is very clear on this matter. Students with disabilities are losing out. Thanks again for your comment.
Gregory Myers January 25, 2013 at 06:11 AM
My thoughts..As a high school student in Fox High, I feel, who ever decided for the money to go on sports.. should be FIRED. WHAT IS A SCHOOL FOR..? EDUCATION? up to date stuff.. how about more school space? the high school is really full!
Emily Malabey January 25, 2013 at 11:16 PM
Gregory, although I am sad to hear you are disappointed with some aspects of your school community, I am heartened to see a civic minded student taking the time to speak up. Paying attention and speaking up does help make a positive difference on a larger scale. Thanks for your comment.

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