PPS has commissioned a half million dollar facilities study. While the study is sometimes referred to as an update of a study done about 10 years ago on the condition of PPS buildings, the facility review portion of this new study accounts for only $170,000 of the $498,000 cost of the study. A large part of the study is devoted to which programs should be located where.
Posters and flyers prepared by the district invite the public to a "City-wide Community Dialogue" about the study, to be held next week. They announce that "discussion at the City-wide Dialogue will focus on diversity, student travel time, school enrollment, high school, career tech, as well as other academic and facility topics."
Based on these flyers one might envision a panel of experts and decision-makers, presenting district observations on these topics and then conversing with and answering questions posed by community members. Alas, that is not the case. Rather, those attending the event will be given a 14 question scan-tron document to answer, with additional space to enter comments. Any discussion will be in a small group led by a facilitator. Transportation is provided by buses leaving specified locations 45 minutes prior to the event.
A question is how participants will view the time and effort asked of them in relation to the benefits obtained. As a practical matter someone using the district's transportation will spend about 4 hours in all. In return they will have the opportunity respond to a set of general questions that may have a very indirect relationship to their particular concerns.