Remember, this is about all of the kids and teens, our teachers, and our staff who support them in our school district. This is about our vibrant neighborhoods, businesses, and community. This is not about one school vs. another, and it is not about saving schools at the sacrifice of teachers. We are working to break down as much of the “us vs. them” and the “win-lose” divisiveness to show how we can all work together to create something bigger than our individual schools and neighborhoods. ♥️ ♥️ ♥️
usd 497 - lawrence, kansas
Watch the Stream
Calls to Action
School Closure Hearings
The district has scheduled public hearings on Saturday, March 25 at each of the schools being considered for closure. Child care will be provided. Find more information about the hearings, as well as how to sign up for public comment at the USD 497 website.
We know this year has been extremely challenging for our teachers and staff. The district closed Kennedy in 2021-2022 impacting students and families in East Lawrence. Last year's $6 million in budget cuts impacted students, teachers, and staff at all levels, but especially our elementary students and teachers. We believe that staff need to be making a living wage, and we need to improve the experience of our teachers, staff, and students and ultimately improve outcomes. And, we believe that there are better alternatives that include finding efficiencies that are not as harmful to students, as well as growing enrollment.
The district is targeting another $9 million in budget reductions to provide competitive wages for teachers and staff. We know there are difficult decisions to be made, and we don't think that they should be rushed. We need a long-term plan. Save Our Schools believes our entire community deserves the following:
Fiscal transparency and accountability: All proposals with calculations for estimated savings should be made publicly available and reports should be provided on the outcomes.
Support our teachers and staff: We want their direct feedback in the form of survey data to be included as part of the evaluation of the proposals.
Students first: We want a safe learning environment and transportation for our students.
True long-term planning: The current proposals need to be more thoroughly evaluated, which requires more time.
On Feb. 27, the School Board voted to proceed with cuts to high school and middle school staffing producing an estimated $3.25 million in savings, as well as hearings on the closure and/or repurposing of two elementary schools, Broken Arrow and Pinckney, with an annual estimated cost savings of $300 - $400 thousand per school.
The district's Boundary Committee is meeting to find viable school placement options for students of the schools to attend if they should be closed.
Also, Do these things to help at the Capitol
See Educate Lawrence for more information on how you can advocate for public education at the State of Kansas level. Sign up for their newsletter, and try to attend their meetings.
Calling ALL community members to join our three rallies to SAVE BROKEN ARROW and PINCKNEY! We need everyone to show up in support of their amazing staff, students, and families. Please share widely! This is a family-friendly rally to SAVE OUR SCHOOLS!
Rally to SAVE BROKEN ARROW!
Rally begins at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 25, 2023 at Broken Arrow Elementary. The rally will be followed by the public hearing that is scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon in the Broken Arrow Elementary Gymnasium. Childcare provided for school-age children by district during hearing.
Rally begins at 1:30 p.m., immediately followed by the public hearing scheduled from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Pinckney Elementary Gymnasium. Childcare provided for school-age children by district during hearing.
Rally before the Board Meeting to Save Our Schools!
Join us for a rally to SAVE BROKEN ARROW AND PINCKNEY before the board votes! The rally will start at 5 p.m. on Monday, March 27 at the ESC building, 110 McDonald Drive Rally. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m.
We need people to write to the school board members, either individually or as a group. Contact the entire school board at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Individuals can ask for meetings with board members to talk in more detail. We need you to share their questions, concerns, etc. as a public comment in one of the upcoming board meetings. The letter to the school board is good, but the public comment ensures it is on the record. Please try to attend the following school board meetings in person. Individuals who want to share comments with the board may email PublicComment@usd497.org by 6 p.m. on the day of a board meeting to sign up to participate in person or via Webex video/phone conferencing.
Sign up for public Comment
Sending an email to the school board is a great place to start. Providing public comment at a meeting ensures it is on the record. Please try to attend the following school board meetings in person. Individuals who want to share comments with the board may email PublicComment@usd497.org by 6 p.m. on the day of a board meeting to sign up to participate in person or via Webex video/phone conferencing.
We walked In Their Shoes!
Special thank you to Carole Cadue-Blackwood, GR Gordon-Ross, and all the students, parents, teachers, and community members for walking with us!
DM us on Instagram about buttons. T-shirts and yard signs available at River Rat Skate Shop, 608 N 2nd St, Lawrence, KS 66044. Everyone can have a shirt, regardless of donation, and suggested donation is $5-$10. Limited youth sizes up to 3X. OPEN: MONDAY – FRIDAY 11am – 6pm SATURDAY 10am – 6pm SUNDAY 12pm – 5pm