I’ve lived in Bettendorf for nearly 20 years, and have enjoyed Edgewood Park since day one. It is used and loved by many community members.
I was concerned Jan. 29 to see equipment in Edgewood. Later that day, I learned it was soil sampling equipment to test a possible building site for a new three-section grade school.
I attended the school board meeting in January where this possibility was discussed. The superintendent indicated at the time, there was neutral student growth in Bettendorf district. Since that time, state lawmakers in Des Moines have introduced SF2019, labeled “school choice” or using tax dollars for students to attend private or charter schools. In my opinion, this will decrease student enrollment in Bettendorf. People in the Mark Twain and Jefferson schools areas have already begun getting “recruitment” letters to attend Rivermont or Lourdes using taxpayer dollars.
The team recommending the new school is apparently made of 19 administrators. Where is diversity of other stake holders? Why are there no teachers, students, former students, facility or support staff, or citizens, especially taxpayers funding our schools, on the team? More concerning to me is, of the 19 administrators, apparently only four live in the Bettendorf district.
This stakeholder is not convinced of students' or teachers' need for the new larger school.
I urge the board to return to the architects study done recently, complete some important needed maintenance, especially the HVAC at the high school. Now is not the time to close two important neighborhood schools.