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Surplus of Schools Offers Opportunity for Improvement

April 07, 1985

Hats off to those teachers and students who last month boycotted in protest of a school closing in Huntington Beach. Boo to their critics.

Anyone who has given serious thought to our educational problems today must conclude that education deserves a higher priority in this country. During periods when school enrollment drops, we have a unique opportunity to serve our existing students better, with smaller classes and the possibility of more attention per student. It's an opportunity we should grab rather than lose to financial considerations.

Instead of closing the ideal small school, we should be looking for ways to make all classes smaller, more educationally sound, and happier places to be so our students will emerge better prepared for the challenges of the '90s. If that means finding new, more generous, ways to finance schools, then so be it.

Educators and their supporters need to help others define the "bottom line" not in terms of bare-bones budgets, but rather in terms of the long-range impact on our society.

Incidentally, where will the state surplus be spent, after all? We need to build and staff more schools, not jails!

IRENE D. THOMAS

Laguna Beach

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