What is the proposal?
A school board committee recommended two proposals to the board. Both proposals would close Hoover; one would also close Lincoln and Hills elementaries. Both proposals would build three large new elementary schools – one on the outer east side, one on the southeast side, and one in north Johnson County.
Under both proposals, the Hoover building would probably be torn down to build an addition on City High. The board has not specified where the addition will be, or how the Hoover land will be used. It seems likely that the addition will go on the existing classroom areas of City, and that the Hoover lot will be used for parking and possibly athletic fields.
At its recent meetings, the board has apparently settled on keeping Hills and Lincoln open, but appears to be leaning toward closing Hoover.
The board can still choose a plan that keeps Hoover open. A scenario that would preserve all of our existing elementary schools was the clear favorite of people who attended the district’s community workshops, but the committee rejected it.
Why should the school board keep Hoover open?
- Hoover is a true neighborhood school, serving over 200 students who live within a mile. Almost all of its students live too close to qualify for the school bus.
- Compared to other older schools, Hoover holds a lot of students. This year, it held over 350 general education students, as well as two special-ed classrooms and a preschool. The district’s goal is to increase capacity and eliminate overcrowding. Why close such a relatively large school?
- The hundreds of people who attended the district’s community workshops repeatedly expressed a clear preference not to close any of the district’s existing elementaries. Having invited that public input, the board should respect it.
- Hoover has an economically diverse student population, coming closer to the district’s diversity goals than all but one other east side school.
- The board hasn’t demonstrated that there is a need for three new mega-elementaries, even in the long term. The board shouldn’t close old schools to build new schools that we might not have enough students to fill even ten years from now.
- An elementary school plays a much more vital role in a neighborhood than a parking lot or athletic field does.
When is the meeting?
The school board will meet at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 23 at the Educational Services Center, 1725 North Dodge Street, Iowa City, to discuss the facilities proposals, including the possible closure of Hoover. It seems likely that the board will vote on the plan that night. There will be an opportunity for public comment the meeting.
Where can I get more information?
More information on the proposed school closings is available here.
What can I do to help?
- Email the school board – soon! – at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Attend the board meeting on Tuesday, July 23
- Show your support in the comments below
- Forward this link to friends
- Put up a yard sign. Email if you’re interested.
- To contact us, email cjliebig [ at ] gmail [ dot ] com