Friday, February 10, 2006

Overcrowded Classrooms and Dependence On Portables

This from the Knoxville News-Sentinel this morning. A story on portable classrooms and the fact that they will always be with us. Does that make it right?

A couple of questions to ponder and provoke thought. Is it right to make students feel like second class citizens? In essence, sent to the shed. Could this be a Civil Rights issue? Is it right that in the school districts planning they do not provide enough space for the enrollment?

In this story Corryton Elementary has a portable classroom and the PTA is raising money for a cover. Why? Corryton is one of the three small schools that are in the the budget discussions for closure. There is ample room at Ritta today, the school district is building a new Gibbs and could easily accommodate a Corryton and the 125 or so students there.

Now take a look at Cedar Bluff, the school district is building a 1000 student K-5 grade school. While Cedar Bluff Primary K-2 houses over 600 students and Cedar Bluff Intermediate 3-5 houses over 600 for a combined enrollment of 1200 plus. Yet, the school district is building a school building for 1000.

The Superintendent's current Capital Improvement Plan located here from the KnoxNews website (Registration Required) does not plan for a new elementary school in southwest Knox County, instead the current proposal will add classrooms at A.L. Lotts, Bluegrass, Farragut Primary and Farragut Intermediate. This plan will add 900 students to 4 overcrowded West Knox County schools at a cost of $12 million dollars.

Some board members are saying this is NOT the plan and that there is another plan. However, there has only been one public meeting on January 30, 2006 (where this plan was unveiled) and the board members refused to comment or have extensive discussion about the plan, it was removed by personal privilege by the Chairman Dr. Dan Murphy from the February 1, 2006 agenda and placed for discussion and possible vote on the 16th.

There will be a meeting with a possible vote on Thursday February 16, 2006 at 5:00 p.m. (so much for us working parents, I guess we will have to watch it on TV and have no public input) in the first floor conference room of the Andrew Johnson Building located at 900 South Gay Street in downtown Knoxville. If you can attend the meeting call 865-594-1630 and sign up to speak. Otherwise contact the board members and tell them what to do, because they are supposed to work for YOU.

District 1 Sam Anderson 4735 Plymouth Drive, Knoxville, 37914 865-525-1681(h) or
865-215-2090(o)or email:

District 2 Indya Kincannon 941 Eleanor St., Knoxville, 37917 865-546-7098(h)or

District 3 Cindy Buttry 5812 San Cristebal Ln., Knoxville, 37921 865-584-6155(h) or
865-215-2360(o)or email:

District 4 Dan Murphy 4141 Forest Glen Dr.,Knoxville, 37919 865-523-0511(h) or
865-974-1752(o)or email:

District 5 Karen Carson 10953 Twin Harbour Dr.,Knoxville, 37922 865-675-0236(h)or
865-300-6443(o)or email:

District 6 Chuck James 8104 Ball Camp Pike,Knoxville, 37931 865-693-0091(h)or

District 7 Diane Dozier 4516 Hosea Lane,Knoxville, 37938 865-925-4851(h)or 865-922-5214 (o)or email:

District 8 Jim Williams 9320 Ruggles Ferry Dr.,Strawberry Plains, 37871 865-933-5860(h)or email:

District 9 Robert Bratton 2005 Switchyard Lane,Knoxville, 37920 865-579-9999(h)or
865-595-0220(o) or email:


Byron Chesney said...

Actually Corryton elementary has 223 students enrolled this year, about 100 more than the number you provided.

Brian Hornback said...

Thanks for your comment. This post was from February when Corryton's enrollment for the 05-06 school year. If their enrollment is is 223 for the 06-07 school year. It would appear that there are efforts under way to protect this school.

My point is made stronger for this school year, in that there is room at Ritta and in addition the system is building a new Gibbs Elementary. Corryton, South Knox and Maynard are not effective uses of the county taxpayer dollars, in my opinion.

Thanks for reading.