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Published: Thursday, 7/25/2002

Honor TPS transfers

The Toledo Public Schools board of education should honor the transfers of 11 pupils that it approved weeks ago, pure and simple.

Last spring, parents of 11 upcoming kindergartners were approved by the district to attend Beverly Elementary School. Now, in a backhanded way that delivers a sinister message, the district won't honor that intent.

Earlier this month the board caved in to Beverly parents' objection to the number of transfer students and their concerns about a portable classroom. The board planned to install a portable at Beverly to house a third kindergarten class. Without the portable, the transfer students can't be accommodated.

Unless the district reinstates the transfers, the parents have a short time to find new schools and daycare arrangements. Some parents will especially be burdened because they already have older children at Beverly. If the board fails to honor the approvals, the parents will have elementary children in two separate schools and daycare facilities.

Four of the five board members won't allow the portable and have canceled the transfers. Board member Larry Sykes labels the decision bad policy. He also wonders if it's racist. Let's hope not, but the board's sudden misgivings about the transfer plan at least raise suspicions.

Keep in mind that Beverly School is 85 percent white, and this fall, half of all transfer students are minority.

There will be 32 such portable facilities in the district this fall. Why is it now that board members say they could put to another use the $60,000 that it costs for a portable for Beverly? And why do they now raise the point that the portables are not a good idea because students in them have to walk to and from the main building?

If portable classrooms are “not the best learning environment for children,” as board member Terry Glazer said, then the district should get rid of them all.

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