Jan 28, 2011 12:39 AM by Matt Stafford

D-49 discussions moving from busing to communication

Thursday night Falcon School District 49 held a special meeting; making up for a canceled meeting from Wednesday night when three board members couldn't attend. Controversy has not stopped since the board voted to do away with busing for next school year about two weeks before. The board says they're trying to do things differently to make up a four million dollar budget gap.

Busing wasn't on the agenda Thursday, but still a part of the discussion. For some parents it's not just change, communication on decisions being made is a key that needs to be addressed.

"I'm a little bit concerned the whole process might be a social experiment on my child," says Michelle Lang, a parent in the district.

Lang spoke out at a board meeting for her first time; concerned about the speed at which decisions are being made. As for her points being taken, she isn't sure.

"It's hard to say because none of my questions were answered or even addressed," says Lang.

Another woman who spoke at the meeting told News First 5 she felt her questions were answered.

Communication was a big part of Thursday's agenda; and speaking up is a big part. Board members have heard quite a bit from parents over the last couple of weeks.

"I don't blame them I think they're concerned about the education of their child," say D-49 school board Treasurer Andy Holloman.

The board is looking for more ways to communicate, online or elsewhere. They point out that the bussing issue may have brought to light problems on getting information out. As they look to change further, communication has to be addressed.

"(The board is) Trying to figure out how do we take what we've got in our minds and communicate it to the public," says Holloman, but it goes both ways.

After Lang's first school board comments, she says she'll speak out again -- if she has something to say -- but it may be making her concerns known to other parents.

As for the busing issue the board and parents will have a chance to practice their communication. The district has 6 meetings planned for February to talk with the community and toss around options; but they have to work fast, a plan has to be finalized by March 31st.


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