Green Bay schools hold last public forum on planned major changes

Passionate pleas on many issues from meeting participants
Published: May. 24, 2023 at 6:31 AM CDT|Updated: May. 25, 2023 at 5:26 AM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Leaders of the Green Bay Area Public School District held one more public forum on major changes planned for the district.

As we first alerted you, a task force came up with a master plan that includes closing some schools, moving some others, building a new elementary school, and changing the boundaries of still other schools.

District leaders say they need to make these changes because of projections there will be fewer students in Green Bay public schools in the future.

The forum took place from 4 to 7 p.m. at Washington Middle School, 314 S. Baird St, on Wednesday, May 24, 2023. Parents and others were allowed to speak for up to 3 minutes each at the forum to give feedback on the plans.

“The disrespect that Josh, the COO demonstrated on the meeting on Monday has me angry. He said that equity, the equity report should be nothing put a piece. Should be nothing but a little part of this scheme. I’mma tell you something it is 60 percent of the District that is how much it matters,” said Stephanie Guzman, Equal Rights Commission, Green Bay.

“I am proposing that we put brakes on this process,” Shannon Strohfeldt, a Green Bay resident said. “Get more community feedback. Look at the facility reports a little more closely. We all agree that changes are needed. We just want them to be as fiscally responsible and as demographically equitable as they can be.”

“The future is today. You have an opportunity to postpone your vote on June 5. It is the right thing to do if you are committed to equity,” stated Maria Lara, Co-Founder of the Latino Professionals Association of Northeast Wisconsin.

Board President Laura McCoy said she’s confident the vote will happen on June 5 and will be voted on in parts. One thing the board can’t get passed is the $20 million budget deficit.

“We can’t say well we’ll hit the pause button on that and deal with it at another time. There is a time element to this that we can’t avoid. So this decision has to happen and we need to get at it, McCoy said.

“Can we trust the District with our money,” Strohfeldt said. “Several parents would love to know why the District is 20 million dollars in the hole. Why ask for money before you even know what you need it for,” she continued.”

“I want my sister to experience the same level of attention from our staff and simple life lessons as I have,” said Lyle Cardwell, an eighth-grade student at Leonardo da Vinci School.

“I’m a proud Da Vinci Dragon and I love my building. I love my building because of my principal and my teachers,” Lacey Cardwell said. She is a student at Leonardo da Vinci.

The school board is scheduled to vote on June 5 on whether to adopt the task force’s recommendations.

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