Friday, April 21, 2006

MCPS rejects all options that do not shut down Seven Locks

With a vindictiveness against the community that some county officials had warned about, Superintendent Jerry Weast and the Board of Education have scrapped all options that do not force the closure of Seven Locks Elementary School.

Weast and the board ignored the communities' compromise to build the new school that MCPS wanted, but on the existing Seven Locks site.

They reduced the options to an all-or-nothing choice: Either build the "Seven Locks replacement school" at Kendale as MCPS had planned all along, thus freeing up the valuable SLES property for other, unspoken purposes; or abolish the Seven Locks Elementary School completely and disperse the kids to the other, already-overcrowded schools in the area.

"Though the joint report offered several options for addressing the Seven Locks issue," the Washington Post reports, "school board members voted yesterday to seek comment on only two - the Kendale replacement school of the closure of Seven Locks and reassignment of its students."

Local observers of public corruption say that the board/Weast decision reinforces suspicions that someone badly wants the valuable SLES campus on the corner of Seven Locks Road and Bradley Boulevard in west Bethesda for purposes other than education.

[NOTE: It is commonly mis-reported that Weast pledged not to surplus Seven Locks Elementary School. Weast made no such pledge. Instead, he said he would he would "not recommend any such surplusing of that school site." Of course, someone could recommend it for him, and he would merely comply.]