By Eric L. Wesson Sr.
CALL Staff Writer
About 125 people lined the aisles during Wednesday, May 27, Kansas City Public School Board meeting in an effort to get the Board to cease all negotiations with Academie Lafayette officials over a proposed plan to turn Southwest Early College Campus into a Charter school that would be run by Academie Lafayette.
The concern rests with what many people feel is the Board’s blatant disrespect for the community by not listening to or engaging the community in the process.
“The community has already let it be known that we are not in support of turning Southwest into a charter school. How many times do we have to say that for the board members to listen,” one of the protesters told THE CALL.
“I don’t have a problem with Lafayette wanting a high school, but I have a problem with the way that they will go about it. I don’t like them setting up an exclusive private school funded by taxpayers under the guise of a charter school. The board thinks that we work for them not the other way around,” the protesters stated.
“They act like we don’t exist and this is their rodeo. That is taxpayer money. That’s our money and we demand to have a say so in how it is spent. Plus, why are they focusing so much energy on this particular plan. They should be focusing on some other aspects as well. Not just satisfying people who live on Wornall,” the protester concluded.
Dr. Wallace Hartsfield II, who helped organize the civil confrontation said that the group is not opposed to innovation, but are opposed to the process.
“Those who have preceded me have spoken regarding the deleterious implications of the so-called innovative efforts being proposed to improve KCPS. Let it be made clear, we are not against the idea of and need for innovation. We are, however, opposed to innovation that threatens the well being of currently enrolled KCPS students and viable district programs,” Dr. Hartsfield said.
Want to read more? Buy this issue now: