Thu, Mar 30, 2000
'Just enough' bad buy for Derby kids
Letter to the Editor 

As a father with three daughters currently in the Derby school system, I have seen children who need a slightly higher level of one-on-one attention receive that attention at an isolated desk in the middle of a bustling corridor, explicitly exposing them as "different" to their passing peers. 

(Could an additional classroom teacher help the other 25 students in her class?)  

I have read the reports that tell us that enrollment in the system was at 1,594 students in 1988 and projected enrollment in 2007 to be at 1,800 students.

Overcrowding not only exists, but will worsen. Failure to react to it now will have tragic impact on our kids. 

(The students must show more respect for education and study than recent freshman classes have.)

The taxpayers in Derby have a far-reaching decision. Historically, city leaders have looked to minimize their political exposure by proposing "just enough for now" solutions; ultimately forcing us to make larger, more costly corrections and additions down the road.

The parents of Derby school children must ask themselves and their neighbors what it will cost to not make these improvements? What value will we receive by having more students subjected to the conditions described above?

I challenge those who oppose the upgrade to our children's second most important environment to explain to that kid in the hallway how he or she didn't need them. 

(We taxpayers are currently supporting Derby children to the tune of 6300 K$ a year, each.  )  ENM

Pat Oates Sr.