Not anti-education

Letter to the editor

Posted: Thursday, February 05, 2004

Thanks to the Empire for Sunday's thorough presentation of the facts concerning Juneau's proposed second high school.

Parents and educators have long recognized the importance of accommodating different learning styles. We do that by offering a rich variety of educational choices. At Juneau-Douglas High School, these choices have included a wide array of academic, vocational and artistic offerings, as well as sports and extracurricular activities.

Our three children attended JDHS in the late 1990s during the peak of the "overcrowding." The hallways seemed congested, but the educational options were expansive. Students had the choice of at least four or five teachers for every core academic class. They enjoyed electives like speech and debate, shop, economics, and sculpture. They participated in wrestling, drill team, the spring musical, and a variety of classes and activities that require "critical mass" to be cost effective, thus available.

The irony of spending money we do not have to acquire square footage we do not need is that we risk reducing, not enhancing, educational and extracurricular opportunities.

You're not "anti-education" if you support the effort to call "time out" on the second high school.

If equal opportunities at both high schools can't be guaranteed, it's unacceptable to penalize a generation of high school students while we wait for the economy to expand and enrollments to grow.

Paulette Simpson


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