There are now 635 signatures on the petition to keep Hoover and all the schools open. The petition not to use Hoover as a swing school, which was circulated primarily to current Hoover parents, has 285 signatures. Those petitions started only two weeks ago, and new signatures continue to come in on both. (You can sign them here and here.)
In the world of local school governance, six hundred people is a lot of people. The Revenue Purpose Statement, for example, passed by only 733 votes this past February. I remain mystified why the school board would pick this particular battle. There is so much they hope to accomplish over the next ten years—not only on facilities, but also on redistricting and pursuing the diversity goals—and they can’t possibly do it without public support. Ignoring public sentiment about school closings will just make their other, far more important goals harder to achieve.
Some board members have expressed a sense of urgency about finally “doing something.” But if they really want to make changes, shouldn’t they want those changes to be sustainable? If they “do something” without any regard to public buy-in, only to find their changes undone by the voters in future elections, they will have accomplished nothing but wasting several years. If they want lasting change, how many hundreds of people can they afford to alienate?