Some parents leery of Coquille schools 'shuffle'

COQUILLE, Ore. -- Schools in Coquille could be headed for a district-wide shuffle to accommodate enrollment numbers and grant funding.

Some parents are skeptical, and they made their concerns known to the school board.

The board room in Coquille had quite the crowd of parents Wednesday evening, many concerned about the district's proposed reconfiguration.

Implementing a Pre-K program would turn Lincoln Elementary into an Early Learning Center.

Parent Wendy Smith says she thinks the district needs to focus on the grades that are already there. "It feels like we're spreading thin and we're trying to get our fingers in lots of other pies, when we're not doing K-12 extremely well," Smith said.

Overcrowding in lower grades has some parents asking for better quality instruction time. "It's chaos," said Molly Messerle. "The teachers are amazing, but it's not cutting it."

"My daughter is spending a lot of her educational time right now being taught things she already knows," Smith said.

The district is asking for community input before they make any final decisions.

School board member Claresa Roberson says she wants to see the same interest from parents in the budget process. "I would love to see all of you here during the budget meetings," she said.

But, it all comes down to funding. "We can only spend it on buildings," said Roberson. "We can't spend it on another teacher."

Superintendent Sweeny says the reconfiguration is still only a suggestion, and an official board meeting will happen in October.