Letters to the Editor

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TACOMA: Needy students are being marginalized

Letter by Larry D. Francis, Tacoma on Feb. 14, 2013 at 4:28 pm with No Comments »
February 15, 2013 10:36 am

Tacoma voters recently passed a $500 million bond measure to improve schools in the Tacoma School District. One school in dire need of improvements is Park Avenue Center (6701 S. Park Ave.). Originally an elementary school, it has been repurposed for use by various district programs.

Park Avenue Center is home to some of the neediest students in the district, yet they and staff members must try to function in a building that is literally decaying around them. The custodians who oversee building maintenance are absolutely superb, but even they can only patch up so much.

Don’t drink out of the faucets there; too much rust. If you drive around the building, notice all the broken glass-block windows.

Students who need the best facilities and services the district can provide in order to succeed and the staff who serve them must endure outdated facilities and few services. The dilapidated building symbolizes how unimportant those students are, in the grand scheme of things, to the Tacoma School District.

Citizens of Tacoma who just agreed to give the district $500 million should take some time to visit Park Avenue Center. Arrange a tour during class hours and see the hardships students and staff labor under. Afterward, they should ask how many other programs the Tacoma School District has marginalized and why.

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