Battle teacher claims district failed to meet obligations to school

Battle High School teacher Susie Adams struck a nerve with some in Columbia Public Schools administration when, at the March 14 school board meeting, she announced she would not vote for the April 5 school bond issue because the district has failed to meet its obligations to the school.

“It’s time for the central administration and the board to make good on their broken promises before moving on,” Adams said.

She spoke of “glaring inequities” at Battle and other schools on the north side of town.

Adams said the school was promised additional resources when boundary changes resulted in the number of students qualifying for free or reduced-price meals moved above 50%. The rate is an indicator of poverty.

She said at the board meeting she was disappointed that she had to take action to call attention to the issue.

“This issue is seemingly ignored year after year,” Adams said.

Response from the district was swift.

“It is disheartening when the good work and commitment to addressing supports for students as promised is not articulated in a public setting,” CPS spokeswoman Michelle Baumstark wrote in a March 16 email to the Tribune. “We also understand that educators face challenges every day and that they too need supports and wrap-around services. We’re not perfect, but everything we do, every decision made, is done with our students ‘best interest at heart. We’ re committed to continuous improvement. “

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