What if, whenever and wherever we build a new Central, what if we as a community and a school district prioritized all forms of access such that any child on the free and reduced lunch program could readily take advantage of the new facilities and resources. Let me be clear, by all forms of access, I mean the following:
- All children on the free and reduced program, with the one and only limitation being sheer capacity regardless of other quotas, will have automatic priority to enroll at the school
- Whenever school is in session, not only will the child have ready transportation at the beginning and end of school, but transportation will also be available for extra-curricular programs at the school, as well as transportation for parents/guardians for conferences
- Options to participate remotely, not only making the educational materials available online, but actively assisting in the home networking solutions
In some ways, you might be thinking “sure, this is all nice and pie-in-the-sky, but impractical and too expensive”. Perhaps if that is your response, we need to rethink the purpose of free, public education, and how it is provided.
So if you put a high school on Interstate Drive, make sure any low-ses family that wants to get there can. Costs money? You bet! Logistical nightmare? In this day and age, are we not called to be problem solvers?
Like I said before, the location of a high school, let alone a brand new high school, is of less importance to me than what I consider to be a higher priority – making sure we provide a free, high-quality public education, especially to those that really could benefit from it.
I invite you all to chime in, especially you silent types who usually don’t say anything. 🙂