John Swett Elementary School dumps new books preceding
Dumpster outside John Swett Elementary containing new and used
books, unopened officeware and, we're told, musical instruments
at the bottom of the pile.
By Pat Murphy and Luke
April 25, 2006, 2:00 p.m.
Startled parents this morning retrieved new books and musical
instruments discarded by school officials in a John Swett Elementary
Many discarded items were in new unopened packaging.
Discarding school supplies this morning preceded a scheduled
7:00 p.m. School Board meeting tonight considering acceptance
of $660,000 in City funds to keep John Swett open.
Four members of the seven-person School Board have indicated
refusal of the $660,000 City allocation. Tonight's meeting will
hear community input on the issue.
One parent discovered "carts and carts of school supplies
being hauled to the dumpster" early today in front of John
She telephoned Ali Blum, also a parent who heads the School Community
Network of District 5, who quickly alerted other parents who captured
the scene on camera.
"It's a travesty," Blum told the Sentinel.
""They don't have money to keep John Swett open but
they have the money to close it."
Blum said the School District had been intent
on closing John Swett, as indicated by school closure criteria
and a school document recommending John Swett facilities instead
be used as School District offices.
"One school closure criterion called for schools to be closed
if they were under 75% capacity (in school enrollments),"
"John Swett capacity was 81%.
"A second criteria for closure was having under 250 students
"And John Swett had 239 students," Blum recalled.
According to Blum, school officials pledged to incorporate the
John Swett arts program into John Muir Elementary School located
1.5 miles from Swett. The pledge was reneged in currents plans,
A 6:00 p.m. rally and press conference urging the School Board
to accept City funding for John Swett will be led by Supervisors
Ross Mirkarimi and representatives of Assemblymen Mark Leno and
District 5 Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi holds up an unused book
entitled "Imagine That!", discovered wastefully discarded
in the dumpster outside John Swett Elementary School.