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Unfortunately, the proposed closure of East Union Elementary (EUE) for the 2021-22 school year will have a negative effect on all students and families in the Eastern Carver County School District (ISD 112). Therefore, I oppose the proposed closure of the school for the 2021-22 school year.

EUE is a unique example of what an elementary school can be. The very size of EUE is a benefit to the community in so many ways. Multiple studies across numerous states in rural, urban and suburban regions have all shown that small schools like EUE increase parent involvement, make students feel accountable for their behavior and grades, and reduce the negative effects of poverty, as well as reduce violence. All of this is true at EUE. It is an example that should be used more often with other elementary schools.

I do understand that budgets need to be cut when a referendum is not passed, but with the continued population growth that is expected for our region and the growing odds that another referendum will need to be put up for a vote in the near future, I feel we can take some risk in keeping EUE open.

Closing EUE will increase class sizes across the district. The current student population at EUE will not simply be absorbed by the nearest elementary. It will create a domino effect across the district as boundaries will need to be redrawn for all elementary schools.

Class-sizes are already expected to increase 1.5 students in the next year. Preventing class-sizes from increasing further is better for all of the students in the district.

Considering the expense of redistricting school boundaries, busing children further to school, managing the already increased class sizes in other ISD 112 schools (because EUE students will need to go somewhere), and poorer school scores/performance due to the increased class sizes in the other elementary schools, closing EUE will be a costly mistake for all students and families in ISD 112.

Please do not close EUE. Or at least delay the closing of EUE until another elementary school can be built to accommodate students in a more efficient and effective manner.

All families, especially those with Carver Elementary, Victoria Elementary, Clover Ridge Elementary, and Jonathan Elementary, should show support by writing the ISD 112 School Board at 112Feedback@district112.org or calling them at 952-556-6107.

Matt Szybnski

Chaska

Community Editor

Mark Olson, the Chaska and Chanhassen community editor who has worked in Carver County for 20 years, makes any excuse to write about local history. In his spare time, Mark enjoys perusing old books, watching blockbusters and taking Midwest road trips.

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