NG articles this morning; covering both sides of the referendum

A nice bevy of things to read in today’s paper:

 

Julie Wurth’s article goes into quite a depth covering both sides of the story, and references a study of which only a few pictures are included in the 6-page PDF, as well as previous studies. The editorial highlights two distinct viewpoints of the $149 million referedum, closing with “Next Sunday, The News-Gazette editorial board will offer its opinion on the Central/Centennial proposal.” I have not yet had the time to digest what both outstanding ladies have said, but I hope to do so later today. In the meantime, I recommend you read these articles as they are excellent windows into differing perspectives.

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13 Responses to “NG articles this morning; covering both sides of the referendum”

  1. charlesdschultz Says:

    In reading both Dr. Wiegand’s commentary and Ms. Dodd’s commentary, I have to say that Dr. Wiegand did a much better job addressing the issues at hand. Ms. Dodds tells us why she thinks the Interstate Drive site will not work and why, but we are ever missing a viable alternative. Dr. Wiegand says there is no in-fill site. I am curious, where would Ms. Dodds suggest we build?

    Both commentaries either indirectly or directly address the issue of sprawl. Pattsi, I know you are dead set against sprawl, but I am going to fall back on my opinion that the City is the main driver of sprawl in this case; even if the referendum does not pass, the City has already established residential areas in the north part of town, with plans to further increase residential and commercial growth. I realize I have been paying more attention to the school district issues (and board meetings), but I am curious how the anti-sprawl crowd is attempting to influence the City and what they have to say about “Champaign Tomorrow”.

    One thing that is still unclear to me is how the dots are connected between a $97.7 million high school and providing highly skilled workers. Can not and should not we be doing that regardless? Yes, again, I can see how new construction certainly helps, but is it truly required? Capacity issues are a completely different ballgame.

  2. charlesdschultz Says:

    Looks like Local Yocal is having trouble connecting the dots as well.

  3. pattsi Says:

    Quite frankly, I do not understand your posting at all. The city is responsible for sprawl. The city has determined infill is the focus not more building going north and west. What we actually need is a growth boundary. Even a Republic CB colleague mentioned this in a conversation last Friday. What is it that you do not understand about a school complex being build north of the freeway that is a major connectivity barrier that this will be the driver of sprawl and development further north at a huge expense to you the taxpayer. I have mentioned over and over again that there will be needs that will cause other taxing bodies to raise taxes, such as city of Champaign for infrastructure, fire station, and police; park district; MTD; and maybe even the county–these are the externalities not being discussed. Sprawl costs and never reclaims those costs. Just go to the social science index and read the studies on this topic.

    And for Judy Weigand to continue to state that there is no infill available south of I-74 is just inaccurate–there is Bristol Park area and the intersection of Neil and Bradley. So to applaud more fact that may or may not be accurate and accept that there are no other possibilities does not seem to be up to your usual standard.

    • pattsi Says:

      Here is a bit of an addition posted online after the Weigand article in 26 Oct. N-G. This covers a financial aspect that still has not been given due diligence–that is any and all costs connected with transportation.

      “Thank you for this column, but I find it distressing that transportation costs — both those born by taxpayers for new bus service, and those born by students and parents traveling to this inconvenient location — are not discussed. Yet they are crucial. While there undoubtedly will be some growth in that direction, still the school has to serve our current, as well as a possible future population. Though the issue of transportation has been raised many times in many fora, I have never seen it addressed by the school board in any convincing detail, or even in outline, for that matter. I’ll be voting no unless it is. I regret that Ms. Wiegand has failed to do so here, though I would like to express my gratitude to her for working hard on the public’s behalf. I just can’t agree, absent a coherent plan for this, the most obvious deficiency of the new site. Absent a transportation plan, it just seems like subsidizing sprawl, and an automotive age we can’t afford. Although I would love to send my daughter to Champaign high schools in 8 years, I do not want to have to — nor can I afford — to buy a car for her to do so.”

      • charlesdschultz Says:

        Pattsi, you say the City is focused on in-fill, but I do not see the City working collaboratively with the school district to design centrally located hubs around schools. Instead, I see the City creating TIFs that benefit companies like Kraft – I realize I am preaching to the choir on this account, and that you personally are much more aware of this fact than I am. My point is, how is the City working with the school district? Where is this boundary that the City is supposed to draw?

        As to if an in-fill site can be found, I will observe that it would be exceptionally difficult to find a contiguous 47-acre lot. As stated before, I personally do not think we need 47 acres, but if that is what the school district is looking for, I don’t think they will find anything that counts as “in-fill”. So the question is not where can we find 47 acres, but rather how do we design a high school to fit in what we have. Which goes back to your Neil-Bradley idea.

        I never said there are no other possibilities. 🙂 I learned a valuable lesson when I was teaching myself how to program in PERL about 20 years ago; there are many ways to skin a cat. The corollary is “there is no silver bullet.”

  4. Rebecca Patterson Says:

    When the city put North Prospect in they were not expecting the result they got. They have stated that in the past. I’ve been at city council meetings and we complained about the sprawl. A lot. More infill is being done as a result. Your welcome.

    Do you know what bait is? I never heard them talk about trades until after it was in the comments section in the paper. Showing up at BTW most of the presentation is about “restorative justice” and bringing fish because we all know black people like fish. They didn’t talk about the educational programming at all. Why was that? They stopped talking about the fields like the plague. When was that last mentioned? It’s all about getting your vote. They keep telling everyone that the survey said we don’t want three schools, and they give a link to the survey. Who would read it to see it’s not asked about? Smoke and mirrors. Reread the referendum again and ask yourself what it promises.

    At BTW they put up two graph with test scores. You should try to get them. I think they were for BTW and Garden Hills and they gave a disclaimer saying it may not me from being in the new building but the scores were a lot higher. But it was to answer the critics who wondered if a new building would “fix” education. There was no questions allowed so I didn’t get to find out where they came from, if they were even the same kids. It was clearly to mislead.

    • charlesdschultz Says:

      Rebecca,

      I have asked about the two slides shown at BTW, I will update when I hear back. However, I personally hold an entirely different point of view. I am not saying you are wrong and I am right, just a different point of view. 🙂 I know Marc Changnon has been preaching about the Trades for several years now. This is not “bait”. Rather, if anything, the Trades is Changnon’s pet project, he is passionately on a mission to help make sure kids are ready for life after high school (college or career). I personally do not believe that the district administration nor the board are trying to be evil or mischievous in any way; rather, my perspective is that they are passionate and they have a strong desire to make something happen. Granted, I do not agree with everything they do (I did vote against the referendum, after all), but I am not willing to throw the baby out with the bath water – there is still a lot of good happening, even with the efforts to “inform” the community.

      And thanks for complaining about sprawl and either directly or indirectly persuading the City to focus on in-fill. 🙂

      • Rebecca Patterson Says:

        When your audience is over 3/4 african-american, except for the majority of the room who are from the school district, and half of your talk is about kids getting in trouble? What does that suggest the opinion of my black grandchildren is? And not a one has been in trouble.
        You misunderstand my comment about the trades. The Board didn’t care about it until we started posting comments suggesting a trade school. They never mentioned it until then and now it’s we are doing trades. At the same time they say the community doesn’t want a third high school. A third high school has never been talked about. Ever. I’m saying the pretty new high school with the fancy new shop is bait. That’s why they keep talking about trades now. At the start they talked about the fields, remember? We made fun of them for needing 80 acres for fields. 2 practice fields, competition fields, soccer fields, etc. I don’t know why they left out golf. They have a team.

      • charlesdschultz Says:

        Ahh…. I begin to see your point now, thanks for explaining. Actually, that helps tie a number of things together for me.

        I hope to walk to William Jones later, but do you know if either he or Nathan Taylor (or one of the other Rose & Taylor employees) set the agenda? Or did Unit 4? In your opinion, was there a good amount of discussion? Do you feel that the community folks who attended were satisfied or dissatisfied with the meeting?

        Sorry for the barage of questions. Feel free to respond as you like.

  5. pattsi Says:

    The sad aspects about this rah, rah push for trades is that all of this once existed in Unit 4. The district choose to close these down and Parkland stepped into the void very well. Now we have a change in educational paradigm and a need for job training and all of sudden we have to have what we previously decided to get rid of without any long range planning being made at that time. Is there not a question whether Unit 4 will be duplicating what Parkland offers and maybe a MOU between these two entities would save money and better serve the students?

    • Rebecca Patterson Says:

      I also wondered if it could be done as a county program. I think at the high school level might be better for kids but if it gets set up it could also hold night classes for adults. Have it as part of a retraining center and for maybe even some programing for ex prisoners. There could be some grant money for getting it set up and for operating expenses.

  6. charlesdschultz Says:

    And here are the Presentation materials used at the BTW meeting and others:
    Dropbox Prezi (you have to go to Dropbox, download the zip file, unzip the zip file, click on Prezi.exe)
    – The slide on academic achievement at BTW and Carrie Busey
    Social Justice “Restorative Justice” powerpoint deck


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