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Persons objecting to the alleged Bettendorf Community School District plan do so based on far more than parochial concerns. They worry that building a new three-section school is an expense to solve problems that do not exist. Both Mark Twain and Thomas Jefferson elementary schools have issues that can be fixed through use of the Physical Plane and Equipment Levy fund and the local option sales tax. There is also funding for the other items put forward, such as emergency entrances at other schools. To imply that one must have one or the other is uninformed at best, divisive at worst.

The school board is wise to consider whether building a new school is appropriate and the unintended consequences of closing others. In either case, it is far better to consider building on land owned by the district. It is important to emphasize that at this point in time, no decision has been made.

People objecting to the defeated plan are not generally doing so due to fear of busing, or of their children being "traumatized", or considering the needs of their school at the expense of the others.

District finances at present can assure that elementary, middle and high school needs can be taken care of, with appropriate planning, The issue is what is best for the students and the entire district.

If the Bettendorf Community School District's aim is keep and to maintain enrollment, it would do well to consider that both MT and TJ represent the most affordable residential options for young families. Getting rid of either of these options would diminish the district's attractiveness.

Scott Tunnicliff

Bettendorf

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