Edmonds Beacon - Your Hometown News Source

Follow the money on Edmonds School District decision


Last updated 4/5/2019 at Noon

My wife and I, Sid, were very disappointed to read about the Edmonds School District’s unilateral decision to kick the Boys & Girls Club and YMCA out of our elementary schools.

The Boys & Girls Club has provided before- and after-school programs for local children over many years. Full disclosure: Both of our children attended the Edmonds Boys & Girls Club, and our daughter worked at the club while in high school.

The YMCA and the Boys & Girls Club are locally run nonprofits that have been a part of our community for decades and have enriched the lives of many who now have children of their own attending their programs.

It was difficult to discern from the Beacon article why the School District came to their decision. Those of us that know better recognized the spin and edu-speak that was used to justify choosing Right At School.

Here is my takeaway from the Beacon article:

  • There was no open, inclusive and transparent process where the District reached out to families and our community to request input from the stakeholders.
  • While the Edmonds Boys & Girls Club is a local nonprofit that has made a decades-long investment in our community and families, Right At School is a for profit corporation headquartered in Illinois and has zero connection to our community.
  • The cost to families for Right At School is not inclusive of non-school days and is 50-100% higher than the Boys & Girls Club.
  • The Boys & Girls Club is not only less expensive, but it also guarantees a large number of partial and full scholarships to all the families that need them. According to the Beacon article, Right At School will not promise any scholarships.
  • The Boys & Girls Club provides local jobs, in particular jobs for high school students which, as we know, are in short supply. Right at School will not be providing those entry-level jobs for local students. In the end, when we look at what Boys & Girls Club offers, it’s really hard to understand how Right at School could be the right choice for the Edmonds School District.

It may be helpful to follow the money.

Ultimately, the care of our children should be entrusted to the qualified programs and people that have earned our trust over many years. The Boys & Girls Club is a local story. A story written by the staff, who are our neighbors who cared for us when we were kids, and now care for our children and the kids down the street.

There are so many personal stories that demonstrate how the Boys & Girls Club has touched the lives of local children and families. For example, every year the Edmonds works with local benefactors to provide Christmas holiday gifts to needy children and families in our community.

Right at School knows nothing of the children in our schools, nothing of our families, nor our neighborhoods ... but apparently they are very good at making money.

I wonder if there will be any left over for a child in need of a single gift at Christmas?

Ray Carden is an Edmonds resident.


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