Parents, officials face tough decisions

Published 9:53pm Saturday, March 26, 2011

As many parents fight for Byrd Elementary School to remain open, some parents have considered the possibility of sending their children to private schools in the near future.

Dorothy Reeves, president of the Byrd Parent Teacher Organization, said many parents are now skeptical about the Selma City School system in general.

“Believe me, if parents could send their kids to private schools they would,” Reeves said. “Many feel like the school system will do what it wants to regardless of the actions made. A lot of the parents are anxious about the school board’s decision about Byrd but overall, we just want better public schools.”

Reeves moved with her four children from Connecticut to Selma in 2002. All of her children have attended the school and she doesn’t understand the logic behind closing the institution.

“Give me a good reason why we should close Byrd,” Reeves asked. “If we’re going to close the school, make other schools big enough to house all of the children. What will happen when the sixth graders can’t go to School of Discovery anymore? There will be a surplus of about 30-40 kids in one classroom and that’s not good.”

Gary Lamar Crum, board member for Ellwood Christian Academy, said he projects a slight increase in enrollment whether Byrd closes or remains open. He expects an influx of about 75 to 100 new students in the upcoming academic school year.

“I think we’re off to a good start and we’ve been well received by the community,” Crum said. “We’re a close-knit and nurturing family here and I believe we complement what the public schools do.

“We have individuals here with a myriad of experiences,” Crum continued. “We have new certified as well as retired teachers. Our smaller classroom size also makes a difference. There’s room for all of us.”

Reeves hopes the school board keeps Byrd open.

“I think we can find a way to keep Byrd in the equation,” Reeves said. “We can change the school system from the inside-out. These students are children, not grownups and we have to think about them. We must save these public schools.”

  • mo-of-thesame

    Not really a tough decision…. Any responsible parent of a child in Selma should send their child to private school if they want to give them a chance to succeed in life. With the recent vote by the majority of the board (and against the Superintendents recommendation) to renew a principle with a failing record who could blame them.

    The facts are the ACT scores average for Selma City are not high enough for the student to gain admission to Alabama or Auburn; and this on a budget of nearly $10,000 per student. The private schools on far less than half that amount have average scores of 24.

    Seems to me that the entire state may be better off just privatizing the entire system and giving vouchers to families who could then decide where their children are educated. The free market system always produces better results over big government especially so when the children are used as political pawns.

    Keep hope alive.

  • popdukes12

    There are more than a few Edgewood students that live in the Byrd school area who attend Edgewood on a “waiver”. They must know one of the many people in the central office. What’s up with that? popdukes12

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