Letter presents inaccurate info about enrollment, redistricting

May 28, 2014 

I wish to address Mr. Boss’ recent opinion letter regarding the August bond and levy propositions. Inaccurate references to the decline in student enrollment and redistricting are glaring.

When discussing these issues, the McCleary ruling by the WA State Supreme Court cannot be discounted. The State is mandating smaller classroom sizes. This is not a choice made by the District; this is a statutory requirement.

References to the reduction of 545 students district-wide are misleading; the district includes 13 grades. The 545-student reduction referenced results in an average of 42 students per grade. Distribute that number over each school in our district and the reduction is five students per grade at each school. This is not nearly enough of a reduction to free up an entire classroom, let alone a whole building.

We also must consider these numbers are not distributed equally within the district. We may see a decline at Evergreen, but there is a tremendous increase at Purdy. Redistricting will only solve the problem for 18 months; there are 1,400 new homes being built in Gig Harbor marketed to families with children. Gig Harbor is appealing to a family with young children, and with more homes under construction the overcrowding issue will only get worse.

I have reviewed the numbers cited in his opinion letter and discovered he did not account for inflation and used budgeted, not actual information, to prepare his public statement. I respectfully disagree with his numbers and find them to be inaccurate.

ANDREA THOMAS

Gig Harbor

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