KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City Public Schools will present changes to its Blueprint 2030 plan during a meeting this week.
The original plan included closing 10 schools across the district. Parents, students, and alumni vocally opposed closing many of the buildings on the list.
“It’s a little unfortunate I think we had a lot more opportunity to engage the community in a more robust way before we laid out – before these recommendations were laid out and because that wasn’t done you had a lot of ill will and ill feeling in the community that probably cold have been prevented,” said Spark Bookhart, executive director of Parent Power Lab.
Due to public feedback, the school district decided to delay voting on the plan and instead revise certain areas.
The board will present that revised plan Wednesday, Jan. 11. The public portion of the meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. in the district’s building at 29th and Troost.
“It’s nothing that you can do more to bring the fervor of people out then talk about than closing schools and we know with he recent history of a dozen years ago,” Bookhart said.
Seating will be on a first come, first served basis, but public comment will not be heard during this meeting.
The board says the meeting is simply to reveal the changes to the 2030 Blueprint. After the board heard the recommendations, the district says it will communicate additional information with families. The board says the changes are based on significant community input since the original recommendations were released.
“Nothing is more important to communities than their schools and closed schools and closed school buildings have a long-term effect on communities especially ones that are challenged economically – economically disadvantaged,” Bookhart said.
The public will be allowed to comment on the plan during the KCPS monthly meeting scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 25.
The board is also expected to list the district’s open superintendent position Jan. 12.
The district says the blueprint is necessary to ensure all children living in the school district have access to Pre-k through 12th grade classes that prepare them for college, a career, and life.
“Our parents are just wanting the district to take a real strong pause and have a much more engaging discussion about this it’s our hope – it’s our greatest hope that these recommendations are let’s pull back let’s take a much more concerted community effort to give get feedback so we can move forward with a much more community informed decision in mind,” Bookhart said.